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6 Ways To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 04, 2024 1 Comment

6 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

taylor picture

By: Taylor Ford, Executive Editor

 

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Another year, another calorie-filled holiday season, and another shot at slaying those New Year’s Resolutions!

Nothing, and I mean nothing, inspires me more than someone telling me I can’t. But staying motivated and getting all jacked up on inspiration will only take you so far. Waking up January 1st ready to slay the world is not enough, because sadly the odds for success are not in your favor. Research shows that the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. Only 8% of respondents tend to stick with their goals for one month, while 22% last two months, 22% last three months and 13% last four months. In the end, only 6% of people will stick with their resolutions for a whole year. Additionally, research done by the University of London suggests it takes 66 days to completely break or set a new habit.

What can you do today to rise above the excuses and stay driven in 2024? Keep reading. These 6 steps to keeping a New Year's resolution aims to not only help you set meaningful New Year's Resolutions but also provides practical strategies to navigate the entire journey. 

THE HISTORY OF NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

I just figured the generations before us created New Year’s Resolutions as a result of feeling guilty after an over-indulgent holiday. In reality, the origins of New Year’s Resolutions are rooted 4,000 years ago in Babylon. The ancient Babylonians pledged their allegiance to their gods in an 11-day festival celebrating the Nile flooding and crops renewing. They believed pledging their allegiance and repaying their debts would bring them good luck in the following year.

Julius Caesar changed the new year to Jan 1

Julius Caesar is responsible for first changing the calendar year to begin January 1st, with widespread adoption later from Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 with the Gregorian calendar. The Romans named January after Janus, the two-faced god who symbolized looking back on the past and forward into the future.

That’s deep, and that’s how we essentially arrived at today’s resolutions: we look physically and retrospectively into the mirror asking ourselves what we did and more importantly what we could have done better. I think we can all agree the paradigm shift from pledging to do better for others to pledging to do better for ourselves is a positive one. Change starts and ends with you.

 

HOW TO KEEP A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

 

1. CHOOSE WISELY

Understanding the underlying motivations behind your resolutions is fundamental to maintaining commitment. Ask yourself why a particular goal matters to you. If it involves adopting a healthier lifestyle, your drive might stem from a desire for increased energy, improved well-being, setting a positive example for your loved ones, or simply looking and feeling better. Visualize the tangible benefits of improved health, such as having more energy to play with your children or enjoying an active lifestyle with friends.

Another strategy is to link your New Year's Resolutions to your core values. If family is a central value, a resolution to spend more quality time with loved ones becomes more than just a goal—it becomes a manifestation of what truly matters to you. This deep connection reinforces your commitment and provides meaningful context for why you're doing this in the first place.

Setting Realistic Goals with SMART Criteria

SMART Goal Setting for New Years Resolutions

Setting realistic goals is foundational to the success of any resolution. The SMART criteria—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—serve as a roadmap for crafting well-defined and attainable objectives.

Specific: Define New Year's Resolutions with Precision

Specify the who, what, when, where, and why of your resolutions. This clarity not only sharpens your focus but also makes your resolution more tangible and achievable.

Measurable: Establish Clear Metrics for Success

Incorporate metrics to quantify your progress. If you're trying to save money, set specific monthly saving targets. Regularly assessing milestones allows you to track your journey and make adjustments as needed.

Achievable: Set Realistic and Attainable Objectives

While aiming high is commendable, setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and burnout. If your resolution is related to fitness or to lose weight, ensure that your initial targets align with your starting point, gradually increasing the intensity as you build stamina.

Relevant: Align Resolutions with Your Values and Aspirations

Ensure your resolutions align with your broader values and aspirations. If your goal is career-oriented, evaluate how it contributes to your long-term professional vision. Aligning New Year's Resolutions with personal values fosters a sense of purpose and commitment.

Time-bound: Establish a Realistic Timeline for Achievement

Create a timeline for your goals to instill a sense of urgency and commitment. Include a starting date and target date for each leg of your journey.

2. SHARE YOUR RESOLUTIONS

Sharing is caring, and it can also help you stick to those goals you made, even when you feel like calling it quits. There may be moments where your willpower is fading, and just as you think you’ve have lost all hope… BAM, your friend is by your side to help. Just like Bill Withers so eloquently sang “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.” Another way to look at your support network - the thought of admitting that you quit to your friend or your family members may be just the motivation you need to stay the course! Even better than sharing your resolution is finding a partner to join you in your resolution! #accountability

The Importance of Accountability Partners

Having an accountability partner creates a support system where you can openly discuss your progress, challenges, and victories. This external support not only provides motivation but also offers fresh perspectives and encouragement. Having someone to check in with and talk about successes and challenges enhances accountability and makes the journey more enjoyable.

Involving Friends and Family in Your New Year's Resolutions

Family prepping a healthy meal together

Extend your New Year's Resolution journey to include friends and family. If your goal is to embrace a healthier lifestyle, involve your loved ones in meal planning or physical activities. Shared experiences not only foster a supportive environment but also create positive associations with your resolutions. Organize family cooking nights where everyone participates in preparing healthy meals together. This aligns with your resolution to eat healthier and as an added bonus, strengthens family bonds.

3. MAKE A GAME PLAN

Once you've established your resolutions, the next step is to create a detailed action plan. Break down your overarching goals into smaller, manageable steps.

Weekly and Monthly Milestones

Writing monthly milestones in calendar

With your action plan in place, introduce weekly and monthly milestones. These milestones serve as checkpoints to assess your progress and make necessary adjustments. If your resolution involves a fitness goal, your weekly milestones could include specific workout routines, gradually increasing in intensity. Regularly achieving these smaller goals fuels your drive and maintains a sense of accomplishment. For instance, set a weekly target for the number of workouts and gradually increase the duration or intensity as the month progresses.

Utilizing Technology

Take advantage of technology to streamline your resolution journey. Numerous apps and tools cater to various goals, from fitness tracking to budget management. Incorporating these tools into your routine not only makes tracking progress more efficient but also adds an element of gamification, making the process engaging and interactive. If your resolution includes incorporating daily supplements into your diet, download a habit tracking app to check off and record when you take them. Bonus: this will also help you to remember if you've taken them yet that day you not!

In today's world, digital platforms like Reddit or Facebook can offer a wealth of resources and communities dedicated to various topics and interests. Search for forums or groups related to your goals. Connecting with like-minded individuals provides a supportive network, offering advice, inspiration, and a sense of camaraderie.

4. 🙅‍♂️ STOP PROCRASTINATION 🙅‍♂️

Stop coasting, start driving. I get it, the easiest day to do something that you don’t want to do today, is tomorrow. Procrastination is a slippery slope; the longer you put off starting your journey, the more intimidating that mountain in front of you becomes. If you are looking to read twelve books in 2024 and don’t start until November, you are far more likely to throw in the towel and start thinking about how 2025 will be different. It won’t. It starts with you. 

Embrace the 5-Second Rule

Mel Robbins' "5-Second Rule" is a simple yet powerful method to combat procrastination and kickstart action.

Here's how it works: The moment you feel the urge to procrastinate or you hesitate to get started on whatever it is you need to do, count backward from 5 to 1, and then physically move or take action. This technique interrupts the default setting of your brain, preventing overthinking and promoting immediate action.

Consider this scenario: Your New Year's resolution is to be more organized in 2024. You've made your SMART goal, you know what areas you're going to tackle and when. But the prospect of decluttering your space seems daunting. Instead of succumbing to procrastination, leverage the 5-Second Rule. You count down "5-4-3-2-1, GO!" and dive into the task at hand. By doing so, you sidestep the inertia of procrastination and establish a proactive approach to organization. The moment you start to get sidetracked, use the rule again and dive back in.

Mel Robbins' 5-Second Rule is a handy tool to combat the gravitational pull of procrastination. Remember, it's not about waiting for the right moment; it's about creating the right moment. So, the next time you catch yourself hesitating, count down and propel yourself into action. Your future self will thank you for it!

5. REMEMBER THAT EVERY DAY COUNTS

Every day is a battle you either choose to win, or don’t. Enjoy and appreciate the small victories, like getting one more day closer to your resolution or one more run in the books. Your resolution should be about enjoying the journey not fantasizing about the destination… You are far more likely to achieve success if you keep your head down, grind, and find joy in the process. The results will come.

PRIORITIZE DAILY PROGRESS

Approach each day as an opportunity for resolution strides. Celebrate small wins like completing a run or getting closer to your goal weight. Focus on enjoying the journey, making consistent effort for eventual success.

EMBRACE ADAPTABILITY

Life is unpredictable; adapt goals to changing circumstances. For example, if work schedule changes, tweak the plan with alternative exercise times or shorter, intense workouts to stay on track.

ADJUST WITHOUT ABANDONING

Be open to adjustments if a strategy proves ineffective. Flexibility means tweaking goals without giving up. If a part of your resolution, such as a specific workout routine, loses appeal, explore alternative approaches like trying different exercises while staying committed to your main objective.

DISCOVER PLEASURE IN PERSONAL GROWTH

View personal growth as a rewarding process. Embrace the unknown, find delight in learning new things and experiment with various approaches. Whether adopting a healthier lifestyle or pursuing personal growth, make it enjoyable by trying activities you love, like dancing or hiking.

6. DO IT FOR YOU

Man looking at himself in the mirror

As I said earlier, I’m all for turning negativity into fuel and I know many people are best motivated by other people’s opinions. With that being said, the only opinion in this world that truly matters is the man in the mirror’s. He and only he truly knows your story, knows your struggles, and will be present for both the grind and the finish line. Challenge yourself, you may be amazed by how much drive you’ve had all along.

Celebrating Small Wins

Amidst the pursuit of grand resolutions, don't overlook the power of celebrating small wins. Positive reinforcement plays a crucial role in maintaining motivation. If your goal is financial, every saving milestone, no matter how modest, contributes to the larger picture of financial stability. For example, if you successfully save a specific amount by the end of the month, treat yourself to a small reward or acknowledge the achievement with a moment of celebration. This positive reinforcement reinforces your commitment to the overall financial goal.

Keep a journal where you document your growth and celebrate milestones. This reflective practice reinforces a positive mindset, reminding you of all the difference and strides you've made and fueling motivation for the journey ahead. This practice instills a sense of accomplishment and keeps you focused on your long-term goals.

 

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES Man Rock Climbing. Overcoming obstacles.

Identifying potential obstacles in advance allows you to develop effective strategies for overcoming them. For example, if your resolution involves daily workouts, recognize that busy days may pose challenges. Plan alternative routines, like shorter workouts or incorporating physical activity into daily tasks.

Building resilience is crucial for overcoming unexpected disruptions. When faced with setbacks, focus on adapting your plan while maintaining consistency. Cultivate a resilience mindset by reframing setbacks as valuable learning experiences rather than failures.

Reflect on the circumstances that led to veering off course and formulate strategies for similar challenges in the future. Analyze triggers and explore alternative approaches to address comparable situations, turning challenges into opportunities for growth

SUSTAINING MOMENTUM BEYOND JANUARY

As the initial fervor of January wanes, the challenge is transitioning from New Year's Resolutions to enduring lifestyle changes. Shift your mindset. Consider this not as a one-time effort but as a continuous journey.

Embrace each new year as an opportunity for continuous improvement. Regardless of your new year resolutions or the specific resolutions you set, view personal growth as a lifelong commitment. Every year presents fresh possibilities for learning, evolving, and becoming the best version of yourself!

 

PS: Studies show not just making a resolution but also sharing it will elevate your chances of sticking with it. Share your resolutions using #StayDriven and tag us @Mdrive and we will highlight you in our Instagram stories to cheer you on. 

 




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1 Response

Louie Flores
Louie Flores

January 24, 2024

My take away from this new motivational series is the 5-second rule it actually works not just for food dropped on the floor lol ! Seriously my future self appreciates and thanks you !!!

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