Every year when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, we resolve to make the coming year our best year yet. According to Forbes:
The most popular New Year’s resolutions are about self improvement (living healthier 23% of people, getting happy 21%, losing weight 20%, exercising 7%, stopping smoking 5%, reducing drinking 2%). In addition, people resolve to meet career or job goals (16%) and improve their relationships (11%).
Unfortunately, studies show only 8% of people will actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Yikes. Those are not promising odds.
In order to help you stick to your plan and be part of the 8% who succeed, here are my top tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolutions and make 2022 everything you envision.
Have a Strong, Clear, Powerful “Why” For the Change You Want to Make
Changing behaviors, habits and routines can be challenging, so it’s important to be crystal clear about why you want to make a given change. Ensure that your reason is strong and powerful enough to motivate you and help keep you on track. Your why will be the anchor that keeps you focused, grounded and committed and the fuel that drives you forward when you feel like quitting.
Get Leverage Over Yourself
Be clear with yourself about the consequences that you’ll experience if you give up or quit. What will happen if things go back to how they were? What will happen if you don’t make the change you desire? When you are clear about the consequences that will result from giving up, it’s easier to find the strength and resolve to continue.
Make Small, Incremental Changes That Move The Needle
Too often at this time of year, people resolve to do something that’s big and takes time. Then they get discouraged when they don’t see the results they want as quickly as they want. Small hinges swing big doors, so start by changing the small things that have a larger compounding effect. For example, someone might resolve to lose 30 pounds. That’s an end goal rather than a clearly defined and manageable change. A strong way to frame that resolution would be to commit to walking at least 15 minutes per day, or to drink one less soda.
Habit stacking is when you add a new action to your already existing routine. For example, if one of your resolutions is to learn Spanish, you could play language videos while you’re getting ready in the morning. You’re already in the bathroom getting ready, so watching the videos moves the needle but doesn’t add any time to your existing routine.
Get an Accountability Buddy
Even the best of us have days where we need a gentle nudge. Setting regular check-ins with someone who will hold you to your commitments, not accept your excuses, encourage you, and celebrate you will help you show up for yourself even when you don’t feel like it.
Show Yourself Grace
There’s no benefit to blame, shame or guilt, so while you can acknowledge that you dropped the proverbial ball, the important thing is to not beat yourself up over it. Pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, recalibrate your resolve, and double down on your commitment to yourself. Then take a deep breath and keep going. You’ve got this!
This article was originally published in Franklin Lifestyle.