How to Keep New Year's Resolutions

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Jen Lawrence
Jen Lawrence

Business Process Consultant focusing on streamlining workflows, optimizing tools, and aligning teams for operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Call them what you want – resolutions, intentions, goals. The new year has become synonymous with taking inventory of your life and making a declaration for betterment. But we’ve all heard the statistics about most resolutions falling to the wayside by January 31st and thus, perhaps, we’ve all become a little jaded toward the idea simply because, collectively, we can’t seem to make these intentions stick. 

Our inability to keep New Year’s resolutions isn’t personal. It’s conditioning. Due to bad marketing, we’ve been taught to set resolutions incorrectly. 

If you’re ready to learn how to keep New Year’s resolutions, let’s change the way we formulate them.

Be real. 

First thing’s first, let’s make sure the motivation for your goals is rooted in something you truly and deeply desire because, without the proper motivation, nothing gets accomplished. Try to quiet the noise of other voices around you (family, friends, bosses, social media) and tap into who you want to be a year from now.

Little things make big things happen. 

Make your resolution small. Tiny. It should feel so small that you feel silly telling someone that it’s your resolution. Because two things will happen. One, it will be so small that you will feel ridiculous not making good on it. And two, it will be so small you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Success breeds confidence which breeds more success.

Doing is being. 

Don’t resolve to be a banner characteristic. “This year, I will get organized/healthier/braver/more romantic.” Evaluate the characteristic you want to be – what behaviors would make you feel more that way? Make a list – and then pick your top one. Then resolve to do just that. Doing will lead to being. For example, if you want to be more organized because you can’t seem to keep track of all your notes and tasks, make a goal to keep all stray thoughts in one notebook for the year. Concentrating all your notes and lists into one notebook means you’ll always know where to find them, which will make you feel more organized. 

Skip the Daily Streaks.

If you have perfectionist tendencies, avoid setting goals that require you to do something every day, because we all know what happens when you miss a day or two. OR if you must because you’re signing up for a hosted challenge, grant yourself “Grace Days” that allow you to break the streak because of things like being sick, life getting in the way, or you simply need a break.

Keep trying.

Reset every month. Did you get off track? Get back on it. Did you knock it out of the park last month? Do it again. Are you getting bored with your current goal? Pick a new or harder one. If you selected something you truly desire, it’s worth keeping at it. And if you’re one of those people who go all in the first week of the month but then lose steam, think of it this way, one week a month will add up to 12 weeks at the end of the year, which means you nailed your goal for 3 months out of the year. 

Looking for specific help with resolutions? Here are a few other posts that may interest you:

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