How to follow through with new year's resolutions

Many people like the idea of setting personal growth new year resolutions, but some are hesitant to commit to the lifestyle they imagine because they fear might fail. This fear is perfectly valid considering less than half of new year's resolutioners have maintained their lifestyle changes by July. If you're feeling fearful or discouraged, don't worry! We're going to discuss tips and tricks for setting smart new year resolutions and how to follow through with your new year's resolutions to help you be one of those less than half succeeders.

Be Specific

It's important to remember that goal setting is a process, not a single event. So, the first step is to get clear on what you want to achieve and how you're going to achieve it. This may seem obvious, but it's easy to get lost in the moment and forget to ask ourselves what we want. Try to be as specific as possible when you're making goals, because the more focused we are, the easier it is to stay on track. The more specific you are, the better.

For example, if your new year fitness resolutions start with running a mile without stopping, you could measure your progress by the number of miles you run each week or the number of times you've run a mile without stopping each week. It's more difficult to measure progress when you're making broad goals, like "lose weight" or "save money," but it's much easier to stay motivated when you're setting smart new year resolution goals you can measure.

 

Grab your New Year Resolutions Planner. Write down your goal in 2-3 sentences. What is it you want? What is the outcome you want? What are the steps that will get you there?

Pro Tip: Create Clear Goals
 

Be Realistic

Set goals that are challenging but attainable. This way, you're more likely to stick to your plan and feel accomplished at the end of the year. You can't expect to go from couch potato to world-class gymnast overnight. Instead, set small, achievable goals that you can accomplish over the course of a few weeks or months. If you start January 1st with the goal of exercising for 5 hours, 7 days a week, you'll burn yourself out before you can start building progress.

 

A great way to navigate this challenge in goal setting is to set many small goals instead of one big one. If we stick with the gym example, we could create a workout schedule for the month detailing what exercises we want to do on what days, with workouts that get more frequent and more challenging over time. This way we're taking it slow, working our way up, and allowing ourselves to celebrate the small victories along the way.

Pro Tip: Create A Stepwise Plan

 

Think Positively

This year, instead of vowing to quit a bad habit or lose weight, consider vowing to take better care of yourself. Switching your goals from a "taking away" to a "giving" standpoint can have positive psychological effects, making it easier to reach your new year, new you goals. A positive mindset can help you set goals that are realistic and attainable, while a goal setting technique called "positive reframing" can help you frame your goals in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.
Positive reframing involves re-framing a goal in a way that emphasizes the positive aspects of the goal, rather than the action you need to take to achieve it. For example, instead of saying "I need to lose weight" reframe that 2022 gym new year's resolution to "I want to feel healthier" or "I want to be able to run long distances again." This way, you are focusing on the outcome you want, while still being honest with yourself about the actions you need to take to achieve your goal.
A research paper about the psychology of new year's resolutions and goal setting published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that a positive mindset can help you reach your goals. When you think about what you want, rather than what you don't want, you are more likely to work towards a goal. This paper suggests that by making a goal about what you want instead of what you don't want, you are more likely to work towards that goal. By setting your goals in a positive manner, you set yourself up for success.

 

Grab that new year resolutions planner again and write a list of positive reframing statements that can help you create positive feelings. The more positive reframing statements you come up with, the more you can practice them on a daily basis. Try them out whenever you want to boost your confidence and motivation. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.

Pro Tip: Practice Positive Reframing
 
 

Be Persistent

The final key to our goal-setting success plan is to stick with it! Cliche, I know, but hear me out. Psychologists say that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. If you feel like giving up in the first month of your new years resolutions, remind yourself that your brain just hasn't adapted yet and it will get easier. Think about the reasons why chose your goal. What would it mean to you to realize your that goals? If you're really just so burnt out that you feel miserable, don't force it. To prevent that grey line between slipping slowly from your goals and just taking a healthy break, allow yourself a cheat day limit on your new year's resolution activities.

 

 

Looking for new year resolution craft ideas? Create a cheat day coupon book or punchout card. Set spend or punch limits and stick to them. Your coupons can include cheats like "exchange your workout for a fun zumba class" and you can limit yourself to 5 "skip the gym" punches a month on your punch card. This way, you are allowing yourself to be flexible when life gets busy or when your mind and body just aren't having it, but you won't feel defeated or like you need to punish yourself later.

Pro Tip: Take Cheat Days
 

 The Wrap Up

In summary, new year resolutions can be a positive experience and a great way to set goals. While you can feel discouraged or disheartened if you do not meet your goals at first, if you stick with your goals, you will eventually get there. Just remember to create a clear goal achievement plan with gradual changes toward your overall new year's resolutions. Create a positive space in your mind for your goals and frame your goals in a way that builds you up, motivates you, and inspires confidence. And finally, commit to your goals for the long haul, but remember that it's okay to take a cheat day here and there!

 

Ready to start goal setting? Order your New Year Resolutions Planner and other new year resolution products to help you achieve your goals.

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