How to make your New Year’s resolutions stick

January 30, 2023

Did you promise that you would do something different this year?

Whether you have made a New Year’s resolution, or set a specific goal for yourself, the process for successfully accomplishing this is the same. For most resolutions and goals, we aim to create something new or to start doing something (or stop doing something).

 

This is all about behaviourial change.
We need to do new things.
Stop doing some things.

Learn a new skill.

 

To ensure success in this process, you must utilise specific tools. We generally all start off highly motivated, but that quickly fades. That is normal.
It is the tools you use that will carry you through to the end,  to ultimately succeeding at the changes you wish to make.
Here are the key tools you need to make your New Years resolutions stick:
  1. Milestones
    You need to break your goal down into smaller parts. This enables you to focus on the next progress point and fixate your attention there. This eliminates feelings of overwhelm and creates more progress points in the journey.
  1. Have a plan
    Most resolutions are set without any thought about the ‘how’. How will you achieve the result you want? What steps do you need to take? You must be specific about the actions you will take and in what order. Of course, your approach may change as you learn more along the way, but regardless, you need a plan. 
  1. Track the key actions
    What is it that you specifically must do? If you are starting a new exercise regime, exercise is your main action. You need to track each day you do your workout. If you are avoiding junk food, you need to keep track of what you eat each day. Tracking works because it reminds you of your progress, your intent and it brings awareness to your actions. Use an app (such as Habitica or Productive, or a spreadsheet. A simple review at the end of the day – did you do it or not? It’s a very powerful tool. 
  1. Use friction
    If you are trying to move towards a behaviour (to achieve your goal), make it easier for yourself. This is what is know as using friction. In trying to make it as easy as possible for you to do the thing you need to, you reduce friction. For example, if you need to avoid junk food, don’t have any in your house. Do meal prep in advance and have healthy snack options available. You will make it easier to choose a healthy option. On the flip side, if you want to stop doing something, increase the friction – make it harder for you to do it. 
  2.  Accountability
    Most of us have more chance of success if we promise we will do something to another person. In fact, a study conducted by the American Society of Training and Development found that successful completion of a goal or task is increased by 65% if the participant promised someone else they would do something. This is why people publicly declare their goals, why people hire coaches and create accountability partners. Who can hold you to account? Reach out to them today.

The Solo Startup Coach acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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