This year about 40% of Americans will create New Year’s resolutions and from that percentage about half will keep going strong after the first month, according to research by University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcross.
The question is… “What did they do to keep their resolutions going strong past a month and longer?”
This article is going to cover just that. We’re going to focus on those individuals who have been able to start, keep and maintain their new years resolutions.
The five steps below are meant for those who are really serious about starting new years resolutions, we’re sure they will have a drastic impact on you being able to achieve
This only works if you take action so we’ve put in “ACTION STEPS” for you in each section.
Step #1: Keep It Simple & Specific
Becoming excited about the New Year’s and overloading ourselves with resolutions is something many of us can relate to. This time, lets acknowledge the excitement and intentionally focus our energy into having only 3-5 new years resolutions. Then in a few months you can revisit them to change or add more.
Remember to also be specific, resolutions like “eat healthier” does not have any concrete direction. Instead put down something specific such as “Eat raw for 2 of my meals every day for the first month and then revisit this resolution to continue or change”
ACTION STEP: Keep it simple by writing down 3-5 great New Year’s resolutions with specific details. If you go over, do your best to keep it below 10 New Year’s resolutions.
Step #2: Why Do You Want That New Years Resolution?
When I was 15 years old, my school teacher made us write down 10 things we wanted for our lives. We then spent the rest of the class writing a whole page on why we wanted each one. The class ended and that’s all the teacher had us do. 5 years later I had completed everything on my list. Everything we do has a reason to it… even the things we dislike.
When you have a powerful emotionally moving reasons why you want something, you’ll achieve it, I promise.
ACTION STEP: For each resolution, write down a full page as to why you want it. Let your emotional signals guide you to a powerful emotionally driving reason. Re-write them till it’s more powerful than your reasons for not doing it, you’ll know when you reached that point.
Step #3: Make A Detailed Plan
Now that you have passed the WHY and your resolutions are worth achieving it’s time to create a plan. The question you need to answer is how is this resolution going to become achievable. Lets take the ‘Eating Raw’ example in the first step. If you wanted this to happen you might create a plan focused around changing your situation in the kitchen and shopping habits, such as…
- Remove from my kitchen all my unhealthy food and only have raw food visually available.
- Pre-shop for all my food every sunday for the entire week.
- Pre-chop and prepare all my meal for the week on sunday
- Stay motivated by educating myself about how to eat raw
ACTION STEP: Make a detailed plan on how you’re going to achieve each New Year’s resolution. Think from a your habits, emotional triggers and then plug in something new to break the pattern. The key is to be extremely honest with yourself. For example, you could have a visual triggers when you see candy in parts of the house, so you would need to remove that candy.
Step #4: Market Your New Year’s Resolutions To Yourself
I’ve always believed the best person to market to you is yourself.
Companies are willing to spend billions of dollars marketing to you on your smart phones, billboards, TVs and wherever they can reach you for one reason…. IT WORKS. Instead of avoiding and shunning marketing, embrace it by intentionally hitting yourself with the marketing you want to see.
The old phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” is about as clear as it gets here, so lets do the opposite and put our resolutions in sight and always on our minds.
ACTION STEP: Place your resolutions where you spend most of your time during the day. Great places could be around or above your bed, on your phone’s screen saver, on the fridge, bathroom mirror, steering wheel. computer screen background, etc.. This will create a lot of unconscious drive with little effort once they are in place. This is also great because others will see it and they will help keep you motivated and accountable.
5. Be Kind To Yourself
We live in an all or nothing society where we need to be perfect or quit. This way of thinking is contradictory to how humans work and is usually full of shame and guilt. Bottom line is, we have emotions, we have up and down days and we fall back into old habits and addictions at times. The sooner we can accept bad days, be kind to ourselves, re-read our resolutions and move forward the better our situations will become.
ACTION STEP: If you mess up on a resolution, it’s okay, follow this system the next morning.
- Wake up and acknowledge it’s a new day
- Smile and remind yourself that you are enough
- Reflect on great times when you overcame challenges
- Re-read your resolutions, reasons and plan
- Give yourself a big hug and move forward.
If you have read this far, then you are already being kind to yourself by having a desire to evolve and improve your life.
Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions and remember to be open to revisiting and revising them, accepting the ever changing wonderful person that you are.