We’ve all been there, each year we write a big list of resolutions we want to manifest in the coming year. Traditionally, we are really dedicated to those things, for like a week. What are we doing wrong? Why can’t we stick to these resolutions?

Here are a few reasons why we have a hard time sticking to our resolutions:

  • Attempting to try new things we are not passionate about
  • Making to many resolutions
  • Not make our resolutions specific enough

When we try to make resolutions for ourselves in areas we are not passionate about, it increases our risk of talking ourselves out of it tenfold.  It’s great to learn new things, but if we aren’t interested in the subject we won’t want to do that task for a whole year. 

Many of us also make too many resolutions for ourselves. While this feels great and we have every intention of fulfilling all of them, it is just not possible. When we set too many goals for ourselves and try to incorporate them into our daily lives, we don’t have time to do them all and then quit. 

Another reason we fail to continue our resolutions is they are too vague or don’t require any accountability on our part or our loved ones. 

It is possible to succeed at resolutions if we set them the right way.  There are several ways we can target our resolutions so that we can succeed at them. 

  • Make one resolution for the whole year
  • Write it down 
  • Stay consistent 
  • Visualize it
  • Set SMART goals

Most years we sit down and write out 15 things we would like to do. Instead, pick one thing that you feel called to (exercise, eating healthy, reading), and focus on that one thing all year. With this method, you are able to focus more time and energy on one thing and the rest of your life will fall into place around that like it normally does. 

A Harvard study found that the 3% of the graduates who wrote their goals down made 10x as much as the other student ten years later. Writing down goals helps us set it in motion. It gives us a visual reminder of what we set out to accomplish this year or month; it’s like an extended to do list. Something we can see so we know what we have to do. 

Consistency is key. We are never going to accomplish our goals if we do not stay consistent. We often let ourselves off the hook with this by saying ‘my mind convinced me out of it’. No, you let yourself succumb to your mind. You have the power to tell your mind that you will do something. Be stronger than your temptations, trust me it is very empowering when you can tell yourself no.

Another way to help yourself stick to your resolutions is to visualize them. Now this doesn’t just mean writing it down and looking at it, this means imagining what this year will look like at the end of the year if you stick to your one resolution everyday. If you wanted to read one book a month, imagine how much knowledge you will have gained over the course of the year. Say it’s exercise, imagine how much more confident and able you will feel at the end of the year. 

In the medical field and probably many others, we set SMART goals for our patients. SMART goals are Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Timely.  So for example, if my goal or resolution this year was to read more, a SMART goal would look like this:

  • Specific – I want to read twelve books this year
  • Measurable – Twelve books
  • Achievable – I am not expecting myself to read twelve books a month, but twelve books in a year is do-able.
  • Relevant – All aspects of my SMART goal are related to reading.
  • Timely – One year is my goal to read twelve books, and one book a month. 

You can do this. Hopefully with this information, we can all set one solid resolution and carry it with us throughout 2021.  

Check out this great podcast with related information.