July is the beginning of the second half of the year and it’s the perfect time to look back, make a balance of our New Year’s resolutions, and realize if you are really halfway to your goal target.

According to studies carried out by the psychologist John Norcross, every year approximately 50% of Americans make a list with their New Year’s resolutions. Among the most popular ones are the following:

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise
  • Quit smoking
  • Improve finances
  • Reduce debt

On the other hand, professor Richard Wiseman spent a whole year monitoring the resolutions of 3000 persons… by December, only 12% of them have accomplished them. These results drive us to wonder why do we feel discouraged, and if there is an easier way to achieve our resolutions.

To this regard, Janet Polivy and Peter Herman identified the so-called “false hope syndrome”. According to these scholars, most of our resolutions are unrealistic and are not in line with our real possibilities and/or capabilities.

Besides, there is also the cause and effect relationship. We commonly think that, if we lose weight, get a different job, or do exercise, our lives will change forever, and when it doesn’t happen (of course, we want changes to happen “as if by magic”), we feel demotivated, and go back to our bad habits.

8 Tips to Help You Out with Your Resolutions

Now, what is crucial to us: How can we encourage ourselves to accomplish our New Year’s resolutions? Therapist Ray Williams (Psychology Today) thinks the following tips could be of help:

  1. Focus on just one resolution, but a very specific and realistic one. For example, “losing weight” is not a specific objective; losing 10 pounds within 3 months, is.
  2. You don’t have to wait until December 31st to make resolutions or to set goals. Make it a one-year process, an everyday one.
  3. Take baby steps. Most people give up on their resolutions because they are very hard to achieve, and require too big an effort to be accomplished at once.
  4. Partner with a friend, someone to report to about your progress, and with whom you feel obliged.
  5. Congratulate yourself every time you remember how good you’re doing. You don’t have to wait until you have achieved your goals to be proud of yourself!
  6. Focus on thinking about your new behaviors and thought patterns (your resolutions). In order to change your habits, you should create new thinking patters in your brain.
  7. Focus on the moment. What is that you’re doing right now to achieve your goal?
  8. Become physically, emotionally, and mentally aware of your present moment; do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future.

So, if you haven’t fulfilled your New Year’s resolutions, this is just a fine time to pick them up, but from a more a realistic perspective. Why don’t you try again? The only obstacle between you and your dreams is your own decision, so #DoItToday.