How to Have a Successful New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time again… the time when everyone either makes New Year’s resolutions (that will soon be blown)… or doesn’t (because they know they aren’t going to keep them.)

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You CAN make New Year’s Resolutions and keep them. But not the old way. The old way doesn’t work (but you knew that, didn’t you?).

As I started to write this, I realized that it would be much too long if I went into detail on every point I wanted to make (and you need all the points to be successful). So, rather than make it longer than you may be willing to read — but at the same time trying to provide useful information — I am going to give it to you in “shorthand” form.

Many of the individual points are in a longer form in various articles and blog posts I have written, so I would encourage you to look those over for the parts that you need expanded more. If you can’t find the explanation or you have further questions about it, please feel free to ask (the comments are a great way to do this).

So, here is your guide to being successful with New Year’s resolutions. (By the way, these are in the order they are for a reason.)

How to have a successful New Year’s resolution:

Pick 1 thing you are going to change – just 1.
When you are successful at it, you can do another. But start with just one thing.

Too many things will just dilute your efforts and result in failure.

Make it a positive change.
It is too hard to stop a negative behavior. Instead replace it with a positive one.

It is much easier to replace a negative behavior with a positive one.

Couch it in positive terms.

Make it do-able.
Something you believe that you can do (with a bit of effort, perhaps, but it is in reach for you.)

If it is too high, you won’t believe you can do it… and you won’t.

Determine the How.
Know what steps you will take to make it happen.

Depending on what you are trying to change this can be very few to many. (Hint: simpler is better.)

Connect with the Why.
Review why the status quo isn’t acceptable.

This has to be something important to you, not to someone else.

Imagine yourself having attained it – in “sense-o-vision”.

See, hear, feel, and taste the why.

Get an accountability partner.
Tell them what you are going to do. Ask for their cooperation (but not to nag you.) This is for you, not for them.

Set up a system to report to them every day concerning your progress on it.

This can be an email saying you worked on it or you didn’t

Not hearing from you shouldn’t be an option.

Pick a start date.
Get started – doing and reporting

Share your results.
Email me and let know how you are doing.

If you blow it…
Missing a day is not blowing it.

Planning a day off is not blowing it.

Missing two days is not blowing it… but exert that extra effort to get back on track.

Do NOT try to make up for the missed “sessions”. Just pick up where you are and move forward.

Reconnect with the “why”
The why is your motivation to succeed at this.

This is NOT an all or nothing proposition.
Give yourself grace… but don’t accept “excuses”.

There may be excused absences

Missing a workout because of illness is an excused absence.

Missing a week of workouts because of illness CAN BE an excused absence (you know inside whether it is or not.)

You are changing habits, these require AT LEAST 21 days to form a new one
And many more to let go of the old one.

If you follow this process, you will succeed at your resolution. Congratulate yourself and have a celebration! You now have the tool in hand and don’t need to wait until next year to pick another thing you want to change. Just follow the process… again and again to your heart’s content.

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