New Year’s is that wonderful time when we many of us aspire to make positive changes in the form of resolutions. And sadly, we probably forget or give up on many of them within a month.
The sad reality is that accomplishing New Year’s resolutions is harder than it should be. But that’s also typically because we don’t use the right strategy.
Today, let’s kick off the year by going over how you can stick to your resolutions.
Know WHY You Want to Accomplish Each Resolution
Before you write a resolution, consider why it’s important to you. Without knowing the why behind your resolutions, you won’t be as motivated to stay with them.
If you just decide “I want to pay off my debt,” you may stick to it, or you may return to your old habits after your initial motivation wears off.
However, if you decide you want to pay off your debt so that you can:
- start going on trips
- finally start saving for your children’s college fund
- get serious about retirement savings
- reduce the negative impact it has on your relationships
….you might actually get somewhere. The more emotionally charged your motivation, the more likely you are to follow through.
It’s hard to finish a race when you don’t even know where the finish line is. So if your goal is “save money this year,” you’re already shooting yourself in the foot.
You could put $10 away in the first week of January and consider your goal done. Or you could save off and on throughout the year, but still feel like you’ve fallen short.
This is why you need a specific, concrete goal, such as “save $3,000 this year.”
Create a Plan to Work Towards Goals
What goes hand in hand with a specific goal? A specific plan.
Procrastination is a resolution killer. It’s far too easy to put off working on a resolution because you feel like you have a whole year to get it done.
Next thing you know, it’s December, and you’re realizing you’re still about 30 pounds shy of your goal to lose 30 pounds.
That’s why every resolution you list should be accompanied by a specific plan of action. In other words, “have a how.”
Get Someone to Hold You Accountable
When you’re the only person who knows about your resolutions, it’s easy to blow them off. That gets much tougher when you tell another person about your resolutions and ask them to check in with you regularly.
Knowing someone will be checking on you can be just the motivation you need to keep going. One option here is to find an accountability buddy who tells you their goals, and then you two can keep each other on track together.
Keeping a journal or a spreadsheet is another good option, either for private resolutions, or to show your accountability partner your progress.
Wrapping Up How to Actually Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions…
New Year’s resolutions may have a high failure rate, but there are many ways to improve your odds of success.
To recap, here are simple strategies that will help you stay on the right path with your resolutions:
- Know why you want to accomplish your resolutions.
- Set a specific goal so that it will be clear when you’ve completed it.
- Put together a plan to work towards each goal.
- Ask someone you know to keep you accountable.
What’s your best resolution keeping tip?