It is the time of year when people are talking about New Year resolutions. It is also the time of year when many resolutions have already been broken. Chances are if you’ve made a resolution you have already struggled to keep yourself committed to it.

What happens next is crucial to your resolution keeping skills. What you do next will either increase or decrease your chances for success in getting back on track and keeping your New Year’s resolution. It’s all about your attitude when dealing with setbacks.

Thomas Edison was a master at dealing with setbacks. He experimented more than 10,000 times before producing the first incandescent light bulb in 1879. His persistence resulted in more than 1,000 patents and his more famous inventions include the phonograph, the mimeograph, the motion picture camera and projector. Not only do we benefit from his inventions, we can also learn a great deal from the way Edison dealt with failure.

Tolerate failure: Failure exists and is often part of the process of trying to accomplish something. When you are discouraged and don’t want to try again, remember Edison and his 9,999 attempts before the lights went on, so to speak. Be realistic – don’t be surprised or discouraged to find obstacles in your way. Instead, believe that you have what it takes to overcome them.

Believe you will succeed the next time. He said, “Many of life’s failures are people who do not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Adopting this attitude will ensure that your channel all your energies into every attempt, increasing your chances of success.

Don’t take it personally. Edison did not consider himself to be a poor inventor just because his experiments didn’t always work. When things go wrong, do not waste time and effort berating yourself. Save your energy for your next attempt.

Keep on keeping on. Persistence is one of the keys to achieving your goals. You’ve heard it before and it bears repeating, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.”

Author's Bio: 

Lucy MacDonald, M.Ed. is a counselor, speaker and is the author of Learn to be an Optimist. Visit Lucy's website and sign up for her free newsletter Positive Perspectives.