It’s been nearly two years since Covid took the world by storm. Through the many lockdowns and civil discontent, and COVID fatigue, many of us have reflected on what is essential to use in our lives. We have reassessed our values and how we spent our time.
Creating New Year’s resolutions can be deeply psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Resolutions require “letting go” of past events and habits in your life that hold you back. With a new year’s resolution, you need to create new habits and behaviors to help you achieve your goals.
New Year’s goals are promises and commitments you make for yourself. It’s the time of year when people feel like they can begin again to make a new start in life. At year-end, we often take time to reflect and dream about what could be and make promises to create that dream.
To create a new dream, we need to develop new habits and break old habits. This means we need to build new behaviors driven by different motives and intentions.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, even though 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. The reasons for failure are many and varied. Many of us start with good intentions, but we fail to follow through and keep going.
- Lack of commitment. No follow-through. There is no burning desire to obtain the goals, making it easy to give up. It takes time to develop a new behavior.
- Underestimating the effort and discipline it will take to create a new habit.
- Lack of willingness to make the necessary lifestyle change.
- Excuses, and we let ourselves off the hook
Life Hack #1: Begin Again
Make a one resolution to help you keep your other resolutions. I call that one resolution: begin again. When we fail to live up to our goals, many think we are too far gone, and we give up. Once you realize you have missed the mark, just begin again. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t get angry; just start over. If you do that every day, little by little, you will make progress on your new year’s resolutions.
Kinds of Goals
If you are like me, I will often have a huge list of goals and new year’s resolutions. Everything I want to do to become a better person and the goals I want to achieve. I find it helpful to group my goals. I like to have the big picture goals, then sub-goals. Sub-goals are the steps I take toward achieving my resolutions.
Personal physical goals:
Establish one physical personal goal for yourself. This is your primary goal. Then you can set sub-goals that support your primary goal. You may want to:
- Improve your health
- Lose weight
- Eat healthier
- Improve your overall health
- Exercise, and get fit
- Meditate in the morning
- Improve your self-care
Establish a self-improvement goal. Self-improvement goals are learning objectives. For me, I like to learn something new every year. What would you like to know? Learning could:
- Improve your ability to do your job,
- A new hobby you want to learn
- Mean learning how to become financially free
- Enhance your mental health and well-being
These types of goals can include places you want to go, things you want to do, and items you wish to purchase. You may even want to refresh your house with a new coat of paint or new furniture.
Life Hack #2: Focus on 3
Keep your main goals front and center. Focus on your three key goals, your major goals. It makes a huge difference in focusing on three goals rather than all the sub-goals.
When you focus on your major goals, you don’t get overwhelmed by the sub-goals. In my case for 2022, my three main goals are to be healthier, deepen my meditative practices, and launch my new REAL Transformational Leadership workshop.
Life Hack #3: Do one thing
Then do just one thing each day to move one step toward accomplishing each of your three main goals. When you do just one thing per day, you generate a win-win for yourself. This will keep you motivated.
How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution
In the new year, the best resolutions are the ones you deeply desire and can’t live without. If you focus on three main goals, it is easier to keep them in the front of your mind. Focus on your three resolutions every day, so it becomes part of who you are.
I like affirming that I want to achieve my new year’s resolutions. I can do it. I confirm that I am choosing to break my bad habit of giving myself an out. For 2022, my easy affirmation is: health, meditate, and launch.
Create a new routine: keep it simple
A new routine is a new habit. Habits, by definition, are consistent actions you frequently take that feel like second nature. My new daily routine and habit will be to affirm my health, meditate, and launch.
Resolutions shouldn’t be all about hard work and no fun. It’s a new year and a new opportunity, so be creative, relax, and enjoy the process.
Measure your progress
As an executive coach, I like to say, track your positives. When you reward with tracking positives and positive self-talk, this provides additional motivation to stay the course.
Once per week, track your positives rather than your failures. If you haven’t met your goals, use life hack #1 and begin again. No matter how small, every step is a step in the right direction. Reward yourself for achievements you make, no matter how big or small.
Life Hack #4: Take five
When all else fails, I take action for five minutes. That’s it, just five minutes. I know I can act on my goals for just five minutes. When I just do five minutes, I find that I become motivated to continue.
The last two years have been challenging. Challenges allow us to be the best we can be. During the upcoming year, let yourself rise to any challenge you may face, and always remember, take five and begin again.
Susan Robertson is the Founder and CEO of Linceis Conscious Business. She is the author of REAL Leadership: Waken to Wisdom. Her new book, REAL Culture: 4 Steps to Build Your Competitive Advantage. She works as an executive coach to senior leaders, helps organizations transform their culture, helps teams improve their collaboration and alignment, and facilitates leadership development workshops. You can reach her at [email protected]