Jordan Ring said, “A failure to take precise and deliberate action is the reason why so many New Year’s resolutions and other goals fail.”
If you are thinking: “This is going to be MY year. A year where I transform my old habits into new ones. And the year where I actually keep my new year’s resolutions!” … then 2022 is the year to make a firm decision; to draw up an action plan and to set a deadline to change your negative habits into positive habits.
10 Tips on how to keep your new year’s resolutions.
“Why do New Year’s Resolutions fail? Mainly, because they are only a statement, or what we wish for in the coming year. There are usually no action plans, no deadlines, no backup plans. Sometimes they are unrealistic resolutions, with no other thought or plans beside the statement,” said Catherine Pulsifer. The first and foremost thing to decide is if you really are willing to commit to changing your habits. If you are, practice these tips when you make resolutions and want to truly follow through with them.
- Be realistic. S. J. Scott, said in his book, Resolutions That Stick! that “Instead of trying to change your entire life in January, the simpler strategy is to adopt a 12-month plan where you’re making constant improvements.” Think long and hard about what you want to achieve during 2022. Analyse what goals are doable on a monthly basis and what is realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the start.
- Set fewer goals and choose the right ones. Don’t overdo it with a huge resolution list of demands you have for yourself. Rather decide on 1 or 2 smaller things to start off with and build on that. Succeeding with baby steps day by day, month by month will help you walk “the-cultivating-good-habits-road” easier and make achieving your goals more feasible.
- Have a strategy. “Don’t make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands”, said J. Allen Shaw. Think about it from all angles and plan for, for example fighting temptation? What would you use as motivation to push forward? Who can help you? What is your backup plan? Etc. It was Benjamin Franklin that said: “If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail.”
- Focus on positive self-talk. The only person who can achieve the resolution is you. It’s always so easy to rather focus on our weaknesses when you should promote and build on your strengths. It’s vital to be mindful about how you self-talk and self-motivate. Nicole Marie B. explained it very well when she advised “Add the word yet when you find yourself saying you can’t…I’m not there, yet. I can’t do that yet. I’m not brave enough, yet. No matter what it is, you will get there…” The mind is a powerful thing and if you keep filling it with negative thoughts, and talk down to yourself, your mind will start believing what you tell it to believe.
- Track your progress. “A goal is a dream with a deadline,” said Napoleon Hill. Set smaller deadlines along the way. Make it realistic and achievable and be strict with yourself to keep to the deadlines in order to help you remain focused and determined.
- Put a reward system in place. A reward at the end of the tunnel, helps keep you focussed. Rewards are a way of giving you a return on investment. If your goal is, for example, to work out every day or maybe eat healthier, allow yourself a ‘day off’ as a “well done” pat on the back.
- Don’t obsess, fix it. Don’t obsess if you slip up here and there. Just fix it and move forward. What is done is done, but at least learn from it. If you learn and constantly try your best not to mess up again, you have achieved progress.
- Be committed to the goal. Devote yourself to your goal. Consciously make a firm decision that this is what you want and stay committed. People say that it takes 20-21 days to form a habit. Make your goal part of your lifestyle, then it will become part of your personality, which will make it easier to achieve.
- Continuously re-evaluate. Ask yourself questions to get to the route of the problem why your progress is maybe not where you want it to be. Then decide, is it an excuse or a real problem. Don’t talk down to yourself but be assertive to yourself about the commitment of reaching the goal. Try to find solutions that can help you overcome these challenges.
- Attitude is key. In the end it all boils down to the one reason you start with something and don’t finish it. Your attitude towards making the change. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude,” said Thomas Jefferson.
Like many other people around the world, you decide that you want to make new years resolutions to change something you are unhappy about. Something you want to fix or transform in your life. Change is a good thing, especially if it is an improvement. And for those of you who think making resolutions is a dumb idea because no one ever sticks to them, we leave you with this quote from Thomas A. Edison, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Don’t give up. If you really want to make that change, make that firm decision, set the goal, strategise, set a deadline then take action with the right mental attitude.