WHILE putting a new year's resolution list together is very much a personal effort, there are simple rules which apply across the board which allow your list to reflect attainable, time-bound goals.
According to US psychologist Dr Robert Bean, who specialises in helping people create these goals and achieving them, the biggest problem when it comes to this is that the entire process is a rushed one.
Dr Bean came up with an acronym for people to follow — the SMART way to create a resolution list.
"The new year looks like a blank slate, but realise that you're the same person you were last year (which was just a few minutes/hours ago)," Dr Bean announced in his presentation earlier this year at a workshop in the US.
He said SMART goals stood for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Rewarding and Time-based goals.
"Some of these goals can be something like 'I will add a green salad to my dinner meal two nights per week (or at lunch every day) for the next two weeks' or 'I will walk briskly for at least 15 minutes every day this week'."
He explained that in a research he carried out over the course of the past few years, people who broke down their goals into many smaller ones tended to have a 50 per cent success rate in achieving their new year resolutions.
He also observed that those who did not let failure be a deterrent, tended to reach their goals too.
"Encountering a setback is one of the most common reasons why people give up on their new year's resolutions. If you suddenly relapse into a bad habit, don't view it as a failure.
"Try keeping a resolution journal, write down important information, by understanding the challenges you face, you will be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
"Focus on taking tiny steps that will ultimately help you reach your larger goal, it may seem like a slow start but these small changes make it easier to stick to your new habits and increase the likelihood of long-term success," the study found.
Tomorrow is new year's eve, so all the best with your personal lists and hopefully the SMART goal setter helps you achieve it.