Have you ever made a new year resolution, filled with hope and positivity, only to ditch your goals just a few weeks after? Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Millions of people make resolutions every new year, yet just a few see them through. We have been in the same situation, year after year, and it seemed we would never be able to step out of this vicious circle.
However, with a lot of reading and a little help from our friends, we have found a few tactics that worked for keeping up with the things we’ve promised to ourselves and our loved ones. If you want to make sure you’ll stick to your resolutions this year, read on. It will take just a few minutes, but we promise these suggestions will prevent you from sabotaging yourself.
Why Do We Set New Year Resolutions and Why Do We Fail?
It is no surprise that so many people choose the start of the new year to start changing their lives. It is a time that evokes feelings of hope and enthusiasm. The new beginning compels us to start on a clean slate and improve our life. So why do we fail? Here are some of the most common reasons we don’t stick to our resolutions:
Fear of Failure
To make a real change in your life this year, first, you must understand what is holding you back. In the case of failed resolutions, it is safe to say that the most common culprit is our ego. Ego sabotages us by keeping us in our zone of comfort – the place where we know what to expect, where we have a sense of control and that we are safe from failure. As a result, we may never make a mistake, and nobody would mock us, but also – we get stuck, and nothing ever changes.
Having the Wrong Motive
You are the master of your life, and you have the right to be who and whatever you want and to make what’s important to you. That is why the lack of a good motive that is truly about you is another widespread reason for failing to see through your resolutions. For example, we often compare ourselves to other people and their success. When we see that those around us stuck to achieving their goals while we dropped everything, it provokes us to try again. However, this isn’t the best motivation, because we focus on what the other person achieved for themself, not what we need to improve and change our own lives.
As we said, people start the new year with high hopes and expectations. For example, when someone wants to lose weight or learn a new language, they often expect to take not more than a week or two to start seeing some results. However, after time passes and they don’t see an immediate effect or make progress as fast as anticipated, they get discouraged and stop making efforts altogether. That way, their impatience, not the lack of action, prevents them from sticking to their resolutions.
8 Ways to Stick to Your Resolutions This Year
We are not ashamed to admit that we’ve failed to keep our New Year promises to ourselves – and not just once. However, with trial and error, a bit of help – and a lot of reading, we managed to find eight tactics that will help you stick to your resolutions.
Check also: Here Is Why To Take a Real Break This Year
1 Make Your Resolutions About You
The best way to stick to your resolutions and make significant changes in your life is to set important and unique goals for yourself. Society, family, and friends’ expectations and influence often make us commit to doing things we don’t actually want. So, it’s no surprise that we fail to achieve such goals. When you make your list of resolutions this year, take time to ask yourself, “why do I want this?” and “why is this important for me?”. Having an authentic and personal motive for change will help you stay on track.
2 Stay Away From Unsupportive People
And while we’re talking about peer pressure and social expectations, it’s worth mentioning that sticking to your resolutions is way easier if you surround yourself with people that understand and support you. Trying to make a significant change in your life is hard enough, even without those who don’t respect your choices and efforts. Remember that person that kept pouring you a drink when you said you’re doing a Dry January? Or the one who kept inviting you to go out and party when you were trying to concentrate and study? We all have someone like this in our lives – it might be a friend, a colleague, or even – a family member. And while sometimes it is impossible to cut all your ties with the mocking, distracting and unsupportive people in your life, you should definitely keep your distance.
3 Be Positive When Framing Your Goals
It’s in our nature to rebel against prohibitions and restrictions, and even the darkest characters among us are attracted to positivity. So, if you claim “No more sweets for me from now on”, you are condemning yourself to failure. When you want to lower the amount of sugar or fats in your diet, you can reframe your goal like this “I will eat healthier”. If something gives you pleasure, don’t try to cut it out of your life entirely. After all, living your life to the fullest means taking responsibility, but also – having some fun and candy – or two, every now and then.
Read also: How to Live Your Life to the Fullest?
4 Focus on One Step at a Time
Achieving even one of your goals will boost your belief in yourself and even help you unlock your potential to make more, long-lasting changes in your life. That is why it’s worth breaking larger goals into manageable tasks that you can accomplish one step at a time. When you focus on just one chunk of work at a time, it is more likely to have long-term success and achieve your big goal. For example, it’s more likely to lose 10 pounds and keep that weight if you minimise your portions by 10% for 2 months than if you starve yourself for 2 weeks at the beginning of the year. Even if you reach your goal weight by a rigorous diet, it’s more likely to relapse and gain all of it back, or as they say – easy come easy go.
5 Be Specific With What You Want to Achieve
If you simply resolve to “be more productive”, “lose some weight”, or “get in shape”, you will probably find it is difficult to stick to such an ambiguous goal, and you’ll likely ditch all the efforts towards achieving it. Instead, focus on something more specific that is easy to keep track of and complete. For example, instead of resolving to lose some weight, commit to losing 10 pounds. Instead of, get fit, commit to running 2 times a week. Making your goals realistic rather than drastic also helps you stick to them. Setting specific goals also enables you to plan what to do to stick to your resolutions during the year.
6 Put Fewer Things on Your List for Greater Impact
While you might want to change more than a few things in your life, consider prioritising and putting fewer things on your list. Taking up too many new habits all at once can be discouraging and can make sticking to too many resolutions quite tricky. That is because setting new behavioural patterns requires time and sustained effort. Focusing on one or two particular goals makes achieving them more realistic. So, when you’re making your list, make sure you put the things that matter to you the most.
7 Make a Detailed Plan
Creating a detailed plan can help you stick to your resolution and achieve your goal. Why is planning so critical for success? Well, for starters, it allows you to consider your tactics when you face a challenge. When you start working toward your goal without a concrete plan, it’s more likely to give up the moment you face any obstacle or setback. If, for example, your goal is to go to the gym three times a week, what happens if you’ve skipped four days in a row, or in case you have to take time off due to an injury or illness? So, to stick to any resolution, it’s wise to craft your strategy. Write down your goal, and then include the actions you need to do to achieve it. Make sure also to note possible obstacles and setbacks, as well as strategies to overcome them, and you’ll be well prepared to stick to your resolution.
8 Track Your Progress and Your Failures to Conquest Your Goals
People are often impatient and look for a rapid change – they want to achieve their goals right now and don’t want to wait. For example, if somebody takes on CrossFit and doesn’t see any result for a workout or two, they give up. Or, they take a few lessons and realise they won’t be enough to speak their goal language. However, success is not a single event but a process. Tracking this process and analysing your achievements and setbacks is crucial because it helps you adapt and learn from your mistakes. Also, keeping track of all the work you put into achieving your goal is vital because this is how you measure your progress. When your data shows you even the slightest advancement, this will give you the confidence and motivation to stick to your resolution.
Everyday life can easily distract you from what’s important to you. MasterTime gives you the opportunity to create your vision of life, which will be reminded to you every day. Our time management tool also allows you to keep tabs on your progress, thus enabling you to focus and achieve your goals easily.