5 Ways to Stick to Your New Year's Resolution
If you’re anything like me, you’ve pretty much avoided making new year resolutions. For the longest, I told myself that I wasn’t changing anything, that I was just going to continue to be the best version of myself. And there is truth in that, I like myself how I am and as I am. But the truth is, I was afraid of not fulfilling the resolution that I had set. I don’t even know if afraid is the proper descriptor, I just wasn’t putting in the effort.
I don’t ascribe to the “new year, new me” ideology — the phrase itself is likely the reason many do not believe in setting resolutions—, but I do believe that with time and genuine effort, one can evolve into a better version of themself. Maybe not in a single year, but certainly over the course of a few years. A resolution doesn’t have to be about changing who you are at your core, it's more about developing new habits and accomplishing goals in an effort to establish the life of your dreams.
To accomplish goals, one has to be intentional, disciplined, and consistent. If you lack any one of all three components, understand that you will fail at your resolution every year. I have learned this the hard way. I don’t want you to be like me so keep reading to see 5 ways you can make sure this is the year you stick with your resolution.
Check-in with Yourself — Do this often. Start by figuring out why you have had a hard time putting in the work to accomplish your goal in the first place. Find out what keeps you from acting on your dreams. What do you tell yourself right after you have thoughts about your goals?
Write everything down — keyword being write. The physical act of writing on paper implants information into your brain far more effectively than typing ever will. So, inherit a notepad and pen from your job and get to it. Write out your goals, fears, etc. Write out your plans for each week, month, quarter. Write down everything, even the things you think you will remember. Spend at least 15 minutes a day writing and planning.
Start small — Make a bunch of small goals instead of one huge goal. I say this knowing that the term small is relative, but you have to start somewhere. Even if it’s just sitting in the chair and opening your laptop. Even if you just put on your workout clothes and sit on the couch. The key is being intentional in every little effort. I moved into my current apartment because it came with a built-in desk and I wouldn’t have the excuse of not wanting to buy a desk.
Go against your norm — Just as I did with selecting my apartment, I intentionally go against my typical habits. Anyone who knows me knows that there are few things I love more than a good nap or two (yes, two). Instead of doing work in my bed or on the couch, I dress in my “outside” clothes. Then if I feel sleepy, I go to a coffee shop. I am STILL struggling with this one.
Stretch Yourself — You decided to begin to do or no longer do something. Congratulations, that was the first step. Now, you have to take action, everyday. Each day you have to do something that stretches you. Be disciplined in all the small things, schedule your days down to the minute if you have to. Even schedule your naps or your social media scrolling. Stick to the schedule, keep increasing, and you’ll eventually notice that they are habits you no longer need to force. Then stretch some more.
A new year resolution can only work if you actively work. Do not let your fear of failure (or actually succeeding) keep you from taking small steps. And as I always say: when you fail, be kind to yourself and begin again, right where you are. I want to hear from you, share your 2019 resolution below and if you don’t have one, what are some personal goals you’d like to accomplish this year?