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Why We Don’t Keep New Years Resolutions and How to Change That

Keeping New Years Resolutions

I’ve noticed this change in attitude towards New Years Resolutions over the last couple years but it really took a turn this year. Lots of screw it don’t do em. You never keep em anyway. Waste of your time.

Um… bullshit.

Ok probably not bukkshit to the ‘you never keep them anyway.’ Thus the change in manner towards them. But honestly that’s on us.

Call ‘em what you want but ultimately these are goals you want to achieve for the year. And the New Year is the perfect time to start them. It’s a fresh start. It’s a NEW year. Great time for us to reflect on the previous year and where we want to be this time next year, what we want to accomplish in this next chapter. You should reflect and write down new goals.

We fail at keeping them or crossing them off the list for a few reasons –

  1. You didn’t actually make a list. Just came up with some things in your head. Or you’ve put them out there. Telling people about them is great but also put them in writing. You can’t cross them off if they aren’t there to cross off. Write them and talk about them. You might even find those you tell can really help you with them! But do both. Your’e more likely to stay accountable to them.
  2. They’re unattainable. Trust me I live in a bit of lala land and think world peace could happen if we just all tried! Haha. But if you don’t set actual attainable goals for the new year well then you set yourself up not to reach them cause they aren’t attainable. I’m not saying don’t dream big. PLEASE do. I’m saying when you write down a goal be realistic in is this something I can do this year, this month, this week… or is this a 2 or 5 year goal. Keep it but don’t give up on resolutions all together because you put an unattainable 5 year goal on your list and you obviously didn’t achieve it in 12 months.
  3. We forget to think smaller. For whatever reason we feel these must be grand. But truthfully big changes in our lives result from the smallest acts. And sometimes we just need to write it down & share them to get started with it.
  4. The biggest reason we miss the mark on new year resolutions…. we never set up any strategies or tactics to accomplish them. As if putting it out into the universe it will magically happen this week. And sometimes we get lucky and that does happen. But if we want to be intentional with our goals you must include a plan, a map per se, to get there. If you don’t know what direction you need to go how will you ever get there, and how on earth will you know when you’re off track if there wasn’t one to get on?

I get it. I’ve done all of those things. Many times. I’ve finally just hit a point that I’m over it. It’s time to be serious about what we want. And listing off how much of this I want, and I want to go do this, and I want… I want… I want… with no strategy isn’t being serious. There are even times I find myself writing the same goals or a slight variation so it doesn’t appear to be the same, but in fact, it is.

Enough with that. Let’s be intentional with our lives and our desires for it.

Here are my tips on achieving goals –

  1. Prioritize your List – You’ll probably find on your list that if you accomplish some of the goals listed they’d actually help you with another one. And leaving all of them to just hang til the end of the year in hopes of getting lucky isn’t productive. Prioritize them. Some to start to now, and the rest for different times throughout the year.
  2. Actually follow up each goal with an action. At least one way you think you can accomplish it or set you on the right track to get there. 3 ways is better. We do fail now and again 😉 Doing this you’ll actually create a to-do list for your prioritized goals. Already this feels much more manageable right?!
  3. Recognize that each strategy you list might in itself include several tactics to achieve just the strategy. If you don’t recognize and set these up then that bigger goal will never get the golden checkmark.
  4. Think small. As said earlier, every goal doesn’t need to be huge. Or maybe you’ve now recognized you need to just get started so bring back a notch. Maybe you’re original goal was to get healthy, but after some thought the biggest area of health you want to work on is getting enough sleep & consistently good sleep. So instead you have this smaller goal now of getting to bed by this time and using an app to track sleep quality and trends from day to day and you’re going to do it until it’s a habit. (which is only 21 days by the way!) It’s not about making “easier” goals. It’s about making them attainable and setting yourself up to succeed. This is actually the same thought process for creating strategies & tactics!
  5. Still dream big. It doesn’t all have to accomplished in 2016. You might find just by prioritizing your list, and creating actionable items these 2 and 5 year goals are attainable even sooner!

Don’t skip writing down goals because you failed to set yourself up to succeed. Try again. Write that list. Go back to that list, prioritize and enter strategies. Shit, add more goals to it!!! It might be the 3rd week of January but it isn’t too late. It never is. These don’t have to happen just at the new year, and they shouldn’t. But it’s a great time to remind us to start fresh and try again or go for more. 2016 is your year. It’s yours for the taking. But you have to act on it. Take it. We even have an extra day this year…. look how much extra time we have for activities!!!! Just don’t give up.

XOXO

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