Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolution
Research-Backed Tips For Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolution
Careers & Jobs, Education, Technology 5 years ago No Comments

The New Year brings in a ritual that we may have done numerous times in our life: Making resolutions. Whether you have a list this year or have totally given up on resolutions, it still helps to know the how and the action plan to make it work this time. What comprises our resolutions list are usually items for self-improvement. It could be about losing weight, spending less and saving more, to enjoy life to the fullest, spend more time with the family, or finally passing the NCIDQ Exam. But it has become a bait-and-switch mirage for a lot of us.

The downside of a New Year’s resolution is that we tend to break them. A staggering 88% break their resolutions, according to a study of 3,000 people led by Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire.

So why do we make New Year’s resolutions when we cannot stick to it?

We need our New Year’s resolutions resolutions as a roadmap to achieve a new improved self. Hope is high on New Year’s because it marks a new beginning and on the same note; we wish a rebirth of ourselves as well. We can finally get our life in control.

So why is it so easy to break them?

One way that makes resolutions a near pointless exercise is our lack of resolve. We often do not stick beyond the honeymoon phase long enough for these resolutions to be habit forming. We give it a few tries and become discouraged when we do not see the results right away. Then we are back to square one.

So how can we finally make them work?

Here are a few steps that have been proven to work:

Plan To Finally Pass The NCIDQ Exam This Year

Anyone can achieve their goals if they follow a plan, and do not make some common mistakes. Our goal at Qpractice is to identify the action steps needed to reach your goal of passing the NCIDQ Exam and help guide you through that plan, while helping you prevent mistakes. And we like to make it more fun for you while doing it.

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Write Your Goals Down

First, you have to write your goals down. It may seem silly but just do it somewhere you can see it daily, and you will 42% more likely to stick to it. Nothing fancy, sticky notes will do.

Next, your goals must be very specific.

For example, with Qpractice in our Practicum study program, we focus on exactly what you need to include in each drawing, what not to worry about, and how much time you should strive to accomplish this in. Which brings us to the next rule of goal setting.

Make Your Goals Measurable

Tracking your progress and time as you work through the Practicum practice drawings helps you see how you are doing and track your improvement.

If you are taking the NCIDQ Multiple Choice Exams, Qpractice gives you quizzes on each content area as you work through the study plan and emails you back your score along with questions, answers, and explanations. This way you can measure your comprehension of each individual content area, and also on the overall practice test. Over time, you can measure your improvement.

Have A Deadline

Without that sense of urgency to get something done, the exam can tend to sneak up real quick. So we have created the Qpractice Study Schedule to help keep you on track to review everything you will need to cover when you are taking all exam sections in one season.

Keep in mind that the dates are suggested times, you can always adjust to suit your work schedule. While the dates for our live office hours will not change, all are recorded so you can watch the replays at any time.

Okay, this all sounds well and good so far, but here is something that a lot of people forget:

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Focus On What You Are Doing Right

Do not forget to focus on your bright spots. It is human nature to focus on the negative. Instead of changing bad behavior, try to look at what you do differently when you achieve something. What is it about your actions that helped you to succeed? And do more of that.

In a study, psychologists concluded that we’re wired to see what is wrong instead on focusing on what actually works. We have to learn to ask a different question. Instead of What is the problem and how do I fix it? try, What is working for me so far? Your answers are your bright spots.

An American graduate student in computer science, Nwokedi Idika, had set a goal to work six hours per day on his thesis but couldn’t hit the target since he’s also a chronic procrastinator.
He examined his bright spots: What is different about the days when I do manage to complete my six hours?

He found out that these were the days he had been working early in the morning. So this became his strategy: He started setting his alarm for 5:30am every morning. It worked! He defeated procrastination by cloning his bright spots. Idika became the first African-American student to earn a PhD in computer science at his university.

In the same manner, at Qpractice when we review drawings for the Practicum, we focus on what was done right that we can all learn from, as well as the common mistakes that may need to be fixed. We want to emphasize was done well so that we all can do more of it.

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Make One Change At A Time

A series of studies in psychology has confirmed that self-control is exhaustible. Although limited, self-control is the fuel that allows change to succeed. Now, imagine using that to fuel a big chunk of the changes on your resolutions list. You can run out really fast and then you would get stuck. But if you use that to zero in on one change at a time, you will have better chance of success.

Let us say you have also discovered that you are able to get twice as much done on those days that you get up early in the morning and study first before you go to work.

Try setting the alarm just one hour early so you can get some reading in while you are having your breakfast, or instead of checking Facebook first thing every day, try checking in with the Qpractice private study group on LinkedIn to see if you can answer a question by a fellow member. This will help get you in the right frame of mind and keep your goal top of mind.

Make That Change Into A Habit

Your goal should be to get the resolution to become a habit, that way they will not burn self-control.

Steve Gladdis of London was constantly falling behind his long personal to-do list. His solution? The resolution to finish a task a day and to make it part of his daily routine. He has been successful so far: I am used to doing it, and I almost look forward to ticking off that day’s chore.

What is the best way to start a habit?

A study led by psychologists Sheina Orbell and Paschal Sheeran shows a group of patients in England with an average age of 68, who were on recovery from hip or knee replacement surgery. One group was asked to set action triggers for their recovery exercises, which were something like, I’ll do my range-of-motion extensions every morning after I finish my first cup of coffee. The other group did not receive any coaching on action triggers. Those patients who used action triggers recovered more than twice as fast, standing up on their own in 3.5 weeks, versus 7.7 weeks for the others.

In essence, these action triggers works as your instant habits, making your resolution an automatic behavior when the triggers comes.

Now, see what you can do to associate a trigger with your newg ood habit. Maybe it is a special blend of coffee or a type of breakfast smoothie. Now, every time you have that cup of coffee, it means you will study for 30 minutes.

Or you save the Qpractice icon shortcut and LinkedIn group shortcuts to your iPad home screen so you see them first when you pick it up in the morning. So now, instead of checking Facebook or email, you can study first.

Set an action trigger to start your habit ASAP, and you will be on the way!