As soon as a new year rolls through, billions of people around the world make new year’s resolutions. All of them are absolutely positive that by following through on these resolutions, they’ll make their lives better.
The thing is, research says only about 16 percent of people can follow through with their resolutions. Sadly most of us give up by March. So make 2023 a new beginning by achieving your new year’s resolutions. Be one of the 16 percent.
How do you do it, though?
STEP 1: What’s Your Goal for the New Year?
The first step is to have a goal. The next step is to ask yourself why you want it. Knowing your “Why?” is the ultimate key to successful new year’s resolutions. By setting a goal that has a particularly strong purpose, you make it a non-negotiable contract with yourself.
For example: Losing weight is a great goal to have. But without the “why?”, it’s just wishful thinking. Alternatively, if you’re high-risk for diabetes or heart attack, losing weight to live longer for your kids is a hard-core “why” and reason to make big changes. Your “why” gives you a greater motivation to make your goal happen.
The new year is your chance to reassess your relationships, career, home life, health, finances, and spirituality. It’s time to reset your direction. Make sure your goal has a “why” with purpose, passion and determination.
STEP 2: Find New Year’s Resolutions Worth Making
Once you’ve set your goal, and you know your “Why?”, decide on your resolution. This is your action plan, and promise to yourself. The secret here is that your action plan must have achievable tasks with a timeline.
A well-planned resolution is a way for you to measure your success and celebrate your milestones. It also helps you keep the finish line in sight, as well as keep you motivated and accountable.
For example: Don’t make a rigorous plan to go to the gym every day for the next 12 months (it’s unlikely to happen!). Instead, promise yourself you will be physically active for 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week with a couple of days rest. Cross each day off on your action plan spreadsheet to keep yourself accountable. A plan to be physically active could be a trip to the gym, or it could be walking the dog. Make it fun, make it enjoyable, and most of all, make it achievable!
When your plan is more realistic, you’re more likely to reach your milestones and stick with your promises.
STEP 3: How Do You Stay Motivated?
As mentioned above, your “Why?” can make or break your new year’s resolution. Know, feel, see and taste your “Why?” in every fibre of your being. It will dramatically increase your chances of staying motivated long enough to keep your resolution.
Your “Why?” is your incentive that keeps you going, it keeps you motivated and determined.
For example: The risk of lung cancer can motivate a chain smoker to finally quit smoking. Similarly, the danger of going deep into debt will strongly encourage you to save more money.
Knowing your “Why?”, having a great action plan, and a strong promise to yourself, are the three main ingredients to reaching your goals, and turning your new year's resolution into a reality.
Proven Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution
1. Set specific, achievable goals. Set a goal that you can reach. Set yourself up to succeed.
2. Write down your “Why?” and read it daily to motivate yourself. When you wake up in the morning and before you sleep at night, remind yourself why you want this.
3. Make an action plan. Break down your resolution into less overwhelming segments. Create deadlines with smaller achievable milestones.
4. Find an accountability partner. Choose someone who will be your cheerleader and, if necessary, your drill sergeant.
5. Keep a daily journal. Document your ups and downs along the way. Keep your focus on the end goal.
6. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small. Don’t wait for the end goal. Celebrate every milestone and enjoy the journey.
7. Take action even if you don’t feel like it. Some days you won’t feel motivated. Remember your “Why” and stick with the plan. Just dig in, and get it done.