How to Make a New Year’s Resolution that Sticks
I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. You’ve probably caught on to that if you’ve been around long enough. It’s not because I don’t think it’s a good idea to have goals and aspirations for the next calendar year (we can’t make progress without goals, after all). It’s because of the massive dropout rate that you see every New Year that rolls around.
Here are a couple of stats that just might blow your mind (there’s a good chance you fit in here somewhere, I know I have). January 15th is a significant date when it comes to resolutions. By January 15th, 95% of people have given up on their resolution already…YUP, 95% have already dropped out 2 weeks into the year. 38% don’t make resolutions any more (this is most likely because of subsequent failures to achieve their goal…failing to plan, is planning to fail).
So why do so many of us give up on our resolutions? Is there a better way to make sure that we ingrain our goals into our minds so that we can become successful? The answer is yes. And I want to give you a blueprint you can use to make your resolution stick. This blueprint can be applied to any type of goal you want to achieve. It will help make resolution sooooo important that you will achieve it at any cost.
Getting Prepared to Make a New Year’s Resolution
So I’m not going to spend any time “beating around the bush”. I want to jump right and give you the steps you can take to put your resolution front-of-mind.
The first thing you’ll need is a pen and paper. These steps require you to write and write and write some more. If you don’t write things down, they only end up as dreams. So go ahead and grab your notebook and a good writing pen…I’ll wait…Okay, we’re back.
Next, get yourself to a quiet place where you can concentrate. Maybe this is your reading room or a coffee shop or the library. Get somewhere you don’t have any distractions and you can simply focus on YOU! This is important. If you have distractions, other things will pop up and you’ll put your resolution planning off to another day. Do this NOW!
How to Make a New Year’s Resolution Stick
Now that you have your pen and paper and you’ve found your quiet spot, it’s time to get started on making your resolution. Remember, this is only the beginning. Making a resolution seems so simple, right? It’s easy enough to say “I want to lose 10lbs” or “I want to get a promotion”. But this is what has led us to failure so far. If 95% are giving up 2 weeks into the year, we’re obviously doing something wrong collectively.
So, take these steps one at a time. Stop after the first step and write down your thoughts. Then move to the next and so on.
#1) First, make your BHAG resolution, then make your SMART resolution
Step #1 is typically the extent of most people’s resolution making. However, many of us aren’t even good at this part. The first thing you need to do is make your BHAG resolution. This is your Big Hairy Audacious Grand Resolution. Where do you want to be by the end of this calendar year? And be specific! Don’t ask for something general.
For instance, if you tell me you want to make more money, I can give you a dollar, and…voila…you have more money. Remember “Ask and you shall receive”. Be specific about what you want to accomplish. Instead of “I want to lose weight” say “I want to lose 50lbs”. So 50lbs lighter is where you want to be by the end of this calendar year.
Since 50lbs is a long way away, it can seem almost unachievable. The next thing we need to do is make a SMART Resolution. This is your Specific Measurable Achievable Reasonable Time sensitive Resolution. If we want to lose 50lbs by the end of the year, our SMART resolution might be to lose 10lbs by February 15th. This is Specific, (10lbs) Measurable (either we lose it or we don’t), Achievable, Reasonable (it’s not 50lbs by February 15th), and Time sensitive (we’ve set a cut off).
#2) Make it Important
This is the next step all of us should take in our resolution making, but are too lazy to take because it requires thinking and digging deep. You need to make sure your resolution is actually important to YOU. Yes, losing 50lbs may be something you SHOULD do, but if YOU don’t truly believe you NEED to, it’s not going to happen.
The best way to make something important in your life is to grow the discrepancy between where you are now and where you think you should be. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you must believe that where you are now is making your life worse than it would be if you were 50lbs lighter. Without this discrepancy, nothing happens.
Here are a few you questions you should answer NOW to help find and build discrepancy within yourself for your resolution:
#1. How is my current lifestyle worse because of where I am?
#2. How will my life be better when I get to “X”?
#3. Who else in my life is effected by my current situation and how will the be effected when I get to “X”?
These are just a few examples of questions that you can ask yourself. Sit down and do this NOW. With this step alone, your chances of achieving your resolution will increase exponentially.
#3) Put Your Resolution Somewhere Where You’ll See it Every Day
This final step is crucial. At Thrive Fitness, we constantly tell our members that you are what you eat. This goes for your mindset and emotions as well. If you put junk into your mind, you’ll get junk out.
By putting your resolution in a place where you can see it every day and taking the time to actually read it a couple of times a day, you’ll ingrain this into your mind. And, slowly but surely, your resolution will be the one thing you think about on a regular basis.
See, your mind has this beautiful device called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). Your RAS determines what you focus on, which is typically what you put into your mind on a regular basis or what is important to you. For instance, have you ever bought a new car because it’s unique and no one in you town has it yet, only to find out that, once you bought it, everyone else decided to buy it also? Now is this really true? Did everyone really go out and buy that car you just bought and suddenly you see it everywhere? No, you just started paying attention because it’s important to you now.
Read your resolution daily, ingrain it in your mind, and let your RAS drive you in the direction to achieving your goal.
Don’t let chance take control of your resolution like everyone else. Plan and make things happen for you on purpose. If you sit idly by, waiting, and hoping for something to happen, you’ll end up in the 95% of quitters. Take control of your life by bringing your resolution to fruition.