Here Are 4 Useful Strategies to Make New Year’s resolutions stick.
Ah, New Year’s. It’s this magnificent time of the year when everyone is hyped up and looking straight into the future with eyes full of hope and belief everything would turn out just fine for them for the next twelve months. Hence, we indulge in New Year’s resolutions – our ultimate promise to keep ourselves on the right track.
The truth is there is something about new beginnings – it’s almost like we get yet another chance to fulfill our aspirations, dreams and desires and at the dawn of the next year, we feel filled with inspiration and determination to do so.
But oftentimes we witness the following course of things happening – even though we are all determined to do our best when it comes to keeping our resolutions, soon after we enter the new year, we tend to lose focus and abandon them one by one. Essentially, this leads us to frustration and discontent, losing faith in our discipline and wishing to succeed the next time around.
Things don’t have to keep on happening like this forever.
In today’s article, I’d like to share with you four useful tactics that have helped me tremendously throughout the years to keep my resolutions and witness the success that came from this. But first, let’s dig a little deeper and try to understand why creating a New Year’s resolution list is so important in the first place.
Why does creating a New Year’s resolution list matter so much?
At first, the idea of creating a New Year’s resolution list may sound a little bit cheesy, but hear me out before arguing the opposing arguments.
Of course, modern-day culture has done its best to romanticize this whole “new year new me” idea when, in reality, there’s no new “you” – you simply have the chance to further develop and elevate your current state of development.
People are huge fans of new beginnings since they give them the feeling of putting unproductive things to rest and making room for better and more fruitful decisions. Be it next Monday, next month or next year, we are all desperately trying to inspire ourselves to do all the things we already know we want to achieve. The only thing we need is just a gentle push and we believe the new beginning will do that for us.
It’s all about a fresh start and buying that new shiny planner with the date “January 1st’ on its first page. Usually, on the 31st of December, we gather our thought, reminiscent of the past twelve months, and, most importantly, are incredibly honest with ourselves about all the things we need to let go of and all the things we need to make room for. And that’s where the magic is.
See, the act of creating a New Year’s resolution list is important because this sacred time of you conducting the list is your raw version of being brutally honest about what’s important and what needs to go. Essentially, you ultimately meet with your future self and envision how you want your life to unravel. That’s why we conduct the resolutions – they are the mirror we need to look straight into in order to realize what we’ve been longing for all along.
But why do we tend to abandon our resolutions?
The majority of people share that, essentially, they tend to abandon their New Year’s resolutions list only for them to quickly go back to their old habits.
Now, first, we need to address the fact that habits are deeply rooted in our psychology – it takes a lot of time, effort, and determination to kill off one habit and replace it with another. That’s why psychologists advise people to continuously try to enforce a new habit for at least a month before they decide it’s not happening for them. In a nutshell, one of the reasons New Year’s resolutions fail to stay is simply because we surrender far too soon.
Another reason has to do with the way we conduct our resolutions list – believe it or not, oftentimes we implement crucial mistakes in our planning that later cause the plan’s overall damnation.
So, instead of feeling bad about yourself for being not disciplined or determined enough, check out the following 4 useful tactics for creating a New Year’s resolution plan and stick to them the next time around.
Here’s how to create your New Year’s resolution list – I share 4 strategies that promise to do the work
- One step at a time. First, create categories. For example, in the next year, you might want to boost your physical appearance. Instead of listing “go to the gym four times a week”, “lose x amount of pounds till the end of January”, and “cut off sugar from your diet”, start one goal at a time. Pick a resolution and focus on it only for several weeks or months before jumping to the next one. When you list everything at once, there’s a high chance you’d feel deprived of many things all of a sudden which can quickly lead to frustration, burnout, and depression. Start small and build up from there.
- Be careful with the timelines. When we are euphoric, we tend to set unrealistic goals in terms of deadlines. Once we fail to meet our deadline, we get discouraged and abandon all our efforts altogether. So try to be realistic when it comes to the timelines – perhaps “reading one book a week” if last year you’ve read approximately three books altogether is an overkill. Start with a specific book for January and see how it goes from there.
- Make New Year’s resolutions lists a thing in your friend group. It’s easier to reach your goals when you have buddies along the way. Together you can inspire each other and make sure no one decides to call it quits. You can even organize parties or treats each time someone successfully finishes a certain task or reaches a goal.
- Under every resolution, write down why it’s so important to you. When we are caught in the moment of creating our New Year’s resolutions list, we tend to feature numerous goals and promises and at one point the list may become too overwhelming. So my advice is for you to write down why a specific resolution is so important – if you cannot think of any crucial or good enough reason, perhaps you’d want to reconsider and focus on all the other things that are truly important.
I hope this small list of tactics will help you stay on the right track and successfully continue your New Year’s journey. Hey, you can even revisit your resolutions list and make the necessary changes given the new information you’ve received. I’m sure you’ll soon witness all the tremendous benefits. Good luck!