How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick.
For Real This Time.
New year's resolutions are a cliché.
You start the year with enthusiasm and high energy, but as you move through January and work begins to kick into full force, you find yourself sinking back into old ways.
It's as if it happened without your permission; it just snuck up on you. The late nights, the poor diet, the lack of movement — it's like an old friend is back, and you're pretty relieved about it, if you're honest.
It's a lot of work to change and much easier to fall back into old patterns even if they aren't that good for you. We are all creatures of habit, and the known is our friend. But if you want to make 2022 the year you change your story, consider these questions to get you thinking differently:
Who is the 2023 version of you?
That is not a typo. To create sustainable behaviour change, you need to start thinking a year ahead. Who do you want to be in December 2023?
Once you have a clear vision for your future self, you can work backwards to define the daily behaviours you need to take now.
The only way this strategy works is if you genuinely see the current version of yourself and your future self as two different people.
The 2023 version of you is way more successful, happier, healthier and fun. They are fit, energetic, and operate from calm confidence despite external circumstances. The 2023 version of you can make clear decisions even under immense pressure while maintaining a high level of Emotional Intelligence at all times.
Your future self goes to bed at a reasonable hour and has undisturbed, peaceful sleep. Best of all, your future self wakes up energised with excitement for the day ahead. And not just on weekends!
You may think this sounds like a fictional character because you're thinking, 'You have no idea what my schedule looks like. I could never be that person!'
The more clarity you have about who you would like to become, the more you expand the possibility for yourself. Create your future self by speaking them into existence.
Here are some other questions you can use to craft this 2023 version of your future self:
• What is their day-to-day life like?
• How do they view their present and future?
• What is their purpose?
• What skills and talents do they have?
• What time would they wake up?
• What would they do first thing in the morning?
• What is their body and health like?
• What would they do for personal fulfilment?
• What are their relationships like?
• What would their thoughts be as they go to sleep?
Now that you have more clarity on who you want to become , your future self depends on current you to start making incremental shifts today.
Choose one habit you would like to start, stop and continue and begin implementing these changes. You don't have to wait until 1 January to make progress towards your future self.
How can you adopt a time abundance mindset?
Time abundance does not mean you have unlimited time. It is a mindset that allows you to make space for what matters without guilt or second-guessing how you spend your precious hours.
Imagine you have the inner critic and the inner coach competing for mental airtime; they have very different ways of seeing your world and narrate your story accordingly.
Who are you going to give into? What is the cost of allowing these limiting thoughts to run your life?
To make progress on your new year's resolutions, begin by turning down the volume of the inner critic and tuning into the station of your inner coach.
How can you be unconditionally friendly to yourself?
Life is a series of micro choices and culminates in your current results. If you aren't happy with your world, you can't default to blame other people but rather take ownership of the choices you have made.
2021 has been an incredibly tough year. Rather than beat yourself up for not being where you would like to, remind yourself that you did the best you could with the resources available to you. You have also been in a constant survival mode, and your decisions were most likely made in a state of stress, overwhelm and fatigue.
The way to change gears as you move closer to the new year is to adopt an attitude of unconditional friendliness towards yourself. If you think about your best friend, what is it about them you love? Are they kind, unconditional, non-judgement and caring? At the core, they always have your best interest at heart.
Can you flip this and begin to adopt this same approach to yourself? It means resting when you are tired and allowing yourself the freedom to spend time on a hobby that will bring you immense joy. When did you last take yourself for a cup of coffee and read something mindless for the pure enjoyment of it?
This attitude matters more than anything because you can easily override your inner coach and convince yourself you have no time for anything apart from work.
When your baseline is unconditional friendliness, you allow a softening to unfold — a kinder way to treat yourself. When you catch yourself in a destructive attitude, ask yourself, 'how can I be kinder to myself today?'. Would I treat my best friend this way? Would I force them to grind through a migraine rather than take a breather and rest?
An unconditional friend also motivates you to keep going when you're down and not always take the path of least resistance but encourages you to go for your goals despite the fear you may be facing.
If you can upgrade your inner coach to your inner friend, you will be unstoppable in meeting your 2022 goals.
Start to think differently about your new year’s goals by dedicating any change you want to make to your future self.
If you're still unclear where to start, upgrade your inner coach to your inner friend.
Even if you fall off the wagon, your inner friend will always pick you up and encourage you to make a better choice the next time.
In the words of Robin Sharma:
"Change is hard at first, messy in the middle & gorgeous in the end'.
Here's to your future self,