I would make a bold claim here and tell you that You cannot Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick, Unless You Use these 7 easy to follow steps!
These steps would Help you Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick!
Every Ist of January , We have become accustomed to “Making New year resolutions” that gets abandoned 2-3 weeks into the new year and we find ourselves back to practicing the same old habits
But What If this year could be different? and you could start all over and actually do what you have been postponing to every new year?
I have had similar struggles myself and since I started practicing these 7 steps, I have gone to “setting and accomplishing goals” as opposed to “setting an abandoning New Year Resolutions”
Why New Year resolutions Don’t Work
14 days ago, You made some very specific resolutions and how you are going to turn your whole life around just be following through and being consistent,
on the 2nd of January, you had this will power, this enthusiasm to follow through and you did just that.
However as a days dragged by so did your resolve, very slowly you begin to lag behind on one or two “Resolutions“, you start making one excuse or the other, you stopped exercising “daily” like you “resolved” because your body hurt like hell on Day 3(I have been here)
By day 10 (after taking a 3 day break), you are all but back to Your old habits and now it makes sense to just live and enjoy your “comfort” Zone
(This Life I cant kill myself),
By day 12, you have all but quit from your goals and your new year resolutions are kicked back ( or forward ) to the next year and you spend this whole year living in the pain you tried so hard to escape from last year.
This is something we all go through and if you are still reading I am very sure you have had or you are having this same struggle with keeping the “New Year resolutions”(why else are you here?)
3 Baffling Facts On New Year Resolutions
- According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February
- It is estimated that 60% of people make new years resolutions but only 8% ever achieve them(very unbelievable odds here and now you have an idea why)
- It has been proven that it takes you approximately 12 days to quit on your Resolutions, so by my calculation, you are two days into the depressing moments of not having any New Years resolutions left to keep (The specific failure date is calculated as January 12).
The truth is what you term as “resolutions” are mostly Just “goals” and sometimes to achieve new Goals, You need to learn New “habits” to help you stay disciplined and consistent.
If one of your new years resolution is to loose weight, it would require you learning (or unleraning) habits and putting them in a structure to have an effect in your life.
To lose weight you might want to start exercising more or eating less, these are both habits and one thing about habits(even the wrong ones) , it takes us time to learn as the brain always seeks pleasure and in a world where you are constantly distracted, it takes a lot to not be.
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
– Warren Buffet
so when you make a New Years Resolution ( which you can make even now, as I find it very okay to start your “new” year anytime you are ready) , instead of thinking about “Resolutions” break those “resolutions” down into “Learned Habits” that would help you get there.
Sticking to your New Years Resolutions would take more than your will power and will power is so little each day that after a while it runs out, your will power should be reserved for better “starts”.
It takes you will power(and a very good alarm clock) to start waking up 5am, if you have been waking up 7am for the past 2 years, but practiced constantly, it becomes a habit your body gets used to and you find yourself wakin up with or without an alarm clock
This is how you can get a grip on your “Resolutions” by internalizing the habits that would get you results over the long run.
Everyday, Things you do continuously(consciously or unconsciously) determines your level of happiness or satisfaction in your Career, Education, Lovelife and most importantly fo some Your Finances
So habit forming happens whether we like it or not so you might as well make a good habits that willl help you with your Goals(Resolutions)
How To Keep A New Year’s Resolutions – 7 easy steps to developing New habits
1) Start Small and be realistic about your goals:
Starting small is the best thing you can do when trying to develop new habits and I say this from personal experience.
When I started my online business, I did not know how big of a world I was stepping into and what it would take, but I read this in a book on how to rewire and develop new routines and I decided to try it,
The first thing I started doing different to prepare and train myself into developing new habits is putting on my wristwatch on my right hand(I used t be a lefty) and while doing this at first looked super easy, it took conscious effort but over time it became a “habit” i hardly put thought into doing (just like wearing it on my left hand in the first place)
So if you want to loose weight and decide to start jogging every day for 1 hour! (when you have not jogged before) youre more likely to fail and give up on Day 1.
it is best you break it down into “mini chunks” that is small and realistic to adhere to. You can start with 20mins, 3 times a week try keeping to that schedule, doing that can spore you into adding more time and more days as your confidence increases with time.
So be very realistic about your goals and break them into “mini chunks”.
2) Write down the new habits you want to develop and why (know your why)
There is an emotional reason for why you do most of what you do, so attaching a reason (and writinng it down) can help your new habits stick better.
a) Writing Down The New Habit
b) Your Why
for example read more books this year,you should write it down –why– because writing things down makes you twices as likely to accomplish your goal and YOUR WHY?( i cant stress this enough) would help you very much increase your chances of success.
it is scientifically proven that people who write down their goals and why they want to achieve them are 2 times more likely to succeed at achieving their goals.
when writing articulate your desires instead of
“I want to read more this year” you should be more articulate by writing more on “how many books” and “why“. The more “Emotional” you can make you why resonate with you, the better.
A better example would be ” I want to 20 Books on copywriting this year so I can learn new skills in Copyrighting which would enable me earn on a Freelance sight like Upwork, Earn money passively and better take care of my Mother, Father, Loved ones and being able to provide for their needs without having to work all day “ you see how there is a why here,
I have also found that when i know “why” I am learning something (the importance) it becomes easier to grasp and assimilate.
Write Your Goals Down as clearly as possible and Your why – is a Must
3) Tie the habit to something else you are doing ( Ritualise it)
When you are learning a new habits, it is best to tie that new habit to an old one already in use – WHY?– Because you are constantly reminded about “practicing” the new habit till you start doing it unconsciously.
When I started practicing meditation, I tied it to my prayer life( which i already made a habit) so when I wake up, I think to myself “pray, meditate, Exercise”.
I found that putting it in between two habits I was already doing daily has helped me stay consistent, this helped me stay focused and you can do that with a new habit you are trying to learn in keeping with Your “New Years Resolutions”
PS: You can start Your New year resolution again today!
4) Vigorously Protect Your New habit
So protect it at all cost(This is where the test of how strong a “Why” you have comes into play) the time you have set aside to practice your New habit should be one with minimal interruptions or rescheduling.
if something urgent comes up? i hear you ask, it would be best if you schedule a different time to practice your new habit.
I find its best to set aside mornings to start new habits as you are still fresh and your will power is at its best as opposed to evenings (after dinner) where plans such as movie dates or hanging out with friends might come up.
Guard Your New Habit Time Zealously – remember Your Why
Accountability is one facet in developing new habits and if you are the only person you hold yourself accountable to, it is going to be hard to excel when you are developing new habits such as writing more, exercising more or eating less( more in my case)
It is easier to jog a mile with someone than to jog a mile on your own , unless you have that level of self discipline when it comes to physical exercises.
I exercise alot but I still find it hard to be consistent in some new habits I am trying to develop because I have not had an accountability partner,
One of my failures from last year was in October when I started a 30-day Writing challenge could not continue as it was more of a resolution for me than a habit, so now that I have learned this new trick or being accoutable, i am starting a new challenge following these same steps i have outlined and I have picked someone I respect who i can be accountable to,
DAphne Gray Grant – A renowned publication coach says you should “Find a supportive but stern-minded friend who can help you during your early days of habit development”
Don’t just pick any one, pick someone who you trust and respect and tell them “why” you want to do this. It is best to pick someone who has done what you are about to do or who is on the same journey as you.
Having a like minded accountability partner are a great thing as you push each other to new heights.
Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens the face his neighbor,”
But if you are disciplined enough to do it yourself ( Don’t kid yourself) still find your accountability partner also by reviewing each day either through journaling or Accessing your progress.
“Find Your Accountability Partner”
I recently took a course on learning about learning (it is a free course on Coursera) and the course teaches you about how to develop and form new habits in 20 hours!
This is a course i recommend you take as it is easy, self paced and FREE. this course taught me the value of tying rewards to the end of a new habit been practiced.
You already have lots of rewarding things you do to avoiding doing the things you should (aimless browsing on social media, that movie you want to see, the one hobby you cant go do a day with out, some crispy chocolate cookies or some amazing fruits)
One thing I’ve found that works for me is to write my habits – why – and a reward( long term rewards of the habit, and short term rewards – which is used while practicing the habit.)
A long term result for daily exercising for me is that I am healthier and can work well all day as I have lots of energy while the short term rewards I give myself daily is 30-45 minutes of Guiltless time doing anything i love on social media or playing one rap album in the morning.
Tie the right amount of reward to new habits.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
Each interval is known as a pomodoro, from the Italian word for ‘tomato’, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.
The mental pain of starting and being consistent with a new habit is why we sometimes never start at all, however, I have found that Using the pomodoro technique you can start ( and finish) almost anything you want to till it becomes a new habit.
How You can do this is by you focusing 25-30 minutes to a task(without any distractions, that includes cell phones) using a timer just to get started and after the 25-30 mins you spend the next 5 minutes doing something rewarding(Your Reward)
practiced daily, you would quickly start developing new and helpful habits and as such keep you resolutions to yourself.
“Pomodoro can help you Fight Procrastination”
It takes anywhere from 18- 254 days to have a new habit ingrained in you so why don’t you start practicing new habits today.?
Take a sheet of paper, write down your goals(resolutions), write down your why? and how you can go about achieving it
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PS: Its just day 14 (time to reset and start your year again)