So we are 1 month into the year, how are your resolutions going so far? If you are like 92% of people you have probably already lost the fight, but there is hope! Let’s talk about how you can ensure that you Stick to your New Year Resolutions this year!

New Year’s resolutions have become synonymous with failure, so much so that 92%[1] of us will throw in the towel before summer is out. Why? Because resolutions are made for one main reason; to make us feel better about our current situation and hopeful about the year ahead. It’s a temporary motivational tool for the first few weeks of the year as opposed to a goal-oriented-plan for the year. But it’s time to stop with the resolutions and start with the lifestyle solutions.

If you are one of the millions of people into setting resolutions for the year ahead then there is a better than good chance that you probably didn’t exactly hit the ball out of the park this year. There is also a great chance that you didn’t really have any structured plan in place to do so either. So herein lies the question. Are you simply out to feel good by telling yourself and others that you have lofty aspirations or are you genuinely out to achieve something this year?

 

Let’s analyse both sides of the coin.

 

Option #1: Feel good New Year resolutions.

  • Tasks include:
    • Make a laundry list of everything you would like to have done or done better this year.
    • Add to this list any new things that you would like to do next year.
    • Cull this list down to your top 5.
    • Now do a second cull down to the 3 that sound the most impressive in conversation. Done!

There’s nothing further to do now with option #1 seeing as they are only temporary feel good devices. Just kick back, keep doing what you’re doing, but have these 3 ready for the next BBQ chit chat.

 

Option #2: Goal-oriented plan for achievement.

This one is a little more involved because it requires actual work and lots of it.

  • Tasks include:
    • Make a laundry list of everything you would like to have done or done better this year.
    • Add to this list any new things that you would like to do next year.
    • Next to each of these things write WHY you want to achieve them next year.
    • Next to that, write what it will feel like if you did achieve them this year.
    • Based on those feelings order them from most inspiring to least inspiring.
    • Your top 3 are your focus. The rest can remain on a separate list but your top 3, once achieved, are going to massively improve your feeling on how your year and life transpires. These are your focus and everything else on the list must be deprioritized to achieve these 3.
    • Get crystal clear on these goals by making them SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding and Timed.
    • Attach more emotion and inspiration to them by picturing and documenting your life during and after their realization.
    • Draw out a timeline from their ‘due date’ to today. Work backwards entering in milestones and mini-stones of achievement to help track progress.
    • Schedule and plan your days and weeks with tasks that push you toward those goals.
    • Use that honeymoon motivation period to build habits based around these tasks, so that when you don’t feel like working toward them you will anyway.
    • Ready, set, GO!

 

As you can see, the 2nd option is rather in depth compared with the first, which is most likely the reason behind the majority opting for the former. However, if you are keen to become part of the Elite 8% of achievers then hold on tight. You will be fighting against the grain, you will be fighting against most everybody else. It won’t be easy, if it was easy then everybody would be doing it.

 

Reference for Stick to your New Year Resolution

[1] Diamond, D. (2013). http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#195b8b40304c