Research shows that 23% of people quit their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of the first week, and 43% quit by the end of January. Why? It’s because they don’t plan them out completely and realistically! Learn how to create New Year’s Resolutions that stick.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I used to (until I switched to a Word of the Year). And I think I broke just about every resolution I ever made. Now that I’m armed with more knowledge of the subject, I realize that I was making ineffective resolutions without a plan to achieve them. No wonder I didn’t succeed!
There’s so much more to a successful resolution that as simple “I am going to…” statement.
We need to know our “why”.
We need to make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
And we need to have an action plan.
So is there any point to making resolutions? YES, as long as we rethink the whole concept, and take a more thoughtful approach to achieving these goals.
Let’s take a look at:
- the psychology behind resolutions
- creating specific, realistic goals
- building support systems and environments
- maintaining motivation
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the Psychology Behind Creating New Year’s Resolutions
When it comes to creating New Year’s resolutions that stick, it’s important to understand the psychology behind them. By doing so, you can set yourself up for success and increase your chances of achieving your goals.
The Role of Neuroscience and Habits
Our brains are wired to form habits, which can either help or hinder our ability to stick to our resolutions.
According to neuroscience research, habits are formed through a process called “neuralplasticity,” which involves the strengthening of neural connections in response to repeated behaviors.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s capacity to continue growing and evolving in response to life experiences. It is possible to change patterns of thinking and behaving and to develop new mindsets, new memories, new skills, and new abilities.
Neuroplasticity says yes, you can make changes in your life based on New Year’s Resolutions.
To create the new habits that support your resolutions, you need to focus on repeating the desired behavior until it becomes automatic. Constant repitition is what drives the change.
How do you do this? You start small, with tiny changes you can act on every single day. This means breaking down your resolution into smaller, more manageable steps that you can practice consistently over time.
The Power of Subconscious Beliefs and Values
Another important factor in creating resolutions that stick is understanding your subconscious beliefs and values. These underlying beliefs and values can either support or undermine your ability to achieve your goals.
For example, if you believe that you’re not capable of change or that you don’t deserve to be successful, these beliefs will likely sabotage your efforts to stick to your resolutions.
On the other hand, if you have a strong sense of self-efficacy and believe that you can achieve your goals, you’ll be more likely to stick to your resolutions.
What you believe, you can achieve.
By identifying and addressing these underlying factors, you can increase your chances of success and create resolutions that truly stick.
How to Create New Year’s Resolutions that are Realistic and Specific
One of the keys to a successful resolution is to create realistic and specific goals.
Have an Actionable Plan
When setting goals, it’s important to be specific and detailed.
Vague goals like “lose weight” or “save money” are difficult to achieve because they lack clarity and focus. Instead, you’ll want to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can work on every day.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, have a specific amount in mind. “Lose weight” means nothing. “Lose 10 pounds by June 1” is clear and specific.
In other words, your resolutions must be SMART goals(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
And you’ll need an action plan to achieve your goal.
This plan must include small, specific actions like “go for a 30-minute walk every day,” “eat vegetables with every meal,” and “limit sugary snacks to once a week.”
Having a goal isn’t enough – you need to create the steps by which you will achieve the goal as well.
By breaking down your goal into actionable steps, you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve your resolution. You’ll be more likely to stay on track and make progress.
Use Technology to track Your Progress
Technology can be a powerful tool for tracking progress and staying motivated. There are many apps and websites available that can help you set goals, track your progress, and celebrate your successes.
For example, if your goal is to save money, you could use a budgeting app to track your spending and identify areas where you can cut back.
If your goal is to exercise more, you could use a fitness tracker to monitor your daily activity and set reminders to get up and move throughout the day.
By using technology to track your progress, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and stay motivated to keep going.
As an added benefit, many apps and websites offer social features that allow you to connect with others who are working towards similar goals, providing a sense of community and support.
How to Build Support Systems and Healthy Environments
Do not underestimate the importance of support systems and a healthy environment to encourage you to focus on achieving your goals.
Friends and Family
Your friends and family play a significant role in your life and can have a significant impact on your ability to achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people who share your goals and values can make all the difference. Consider sharing your resolutions with your loved ones and ask for their support.
You might even find that some of them have similar goals and you can work together to achieve them.
On the other hand, negative influences can hinder your progress.
If you have friends or family members who are not supportive or who undermine your efforts, it may be necessary to limit your time with them or have a frank conversation about how their behavior affects you.
Your environment can also have a significant impact on your success.
Creating a healthy environment that supports your goals can make it easier to stay on track. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, consider removing unhealthy foods from your home, stocking up on healthy options, and preparing meals in advance.
Similarly, if your goal is to exercise more, consider joining a gym, finding a workout buddy, or creating a home gym.
Make sure that your environment is conducive to your goals and that you have everything you need to succeed. Take away anything that impares your chances of success.
Maintaining Motivation to Stick With Your New Year’s Resolutions
To make your resolutions stick, you need to maintain motivation and stay committed to your goals.
Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Focus on the Positives of Personal Growth and Self-Care
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to focus on the personal growth journey toward your resolution. You should have a clear understanding of how your resolution benefits your self-development and fits into your life priorities.
When you set goals that align with your values and priorities, you’ll feel more motivated to achieve them.
Take time to celebrate your progress along the way. Celebrating small wins can help you stay motivated and feel good about your accomplishments. Enjoy the journey.
Self-care is also essential for maintaining motivation. When you take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health, you’ll have more energy and focus to work toward your goals.
Determination and Accountability
Determination is the key to achieving your goals. When you’re determined to succeed, you’ll be more likely to overcome obstacles and stay focused on your goals.
To build determination, you can try setting small goals that lead to your larger goal. As you succeed with these small changes, they will reinforce your determination to continue toward additional achievements. This will help you build momentum and confidence as you work toward your ultimate goal.
Accountability is also crucial for making your resolutions stick. When you hold yourself accountable, you’ll be more likely to follow through on your commitments.
Track your progress and hold yourself accountable by using a planner, habit tracker, or journal to record your daily activities. You can find an accountability partner, join a support group, or hire a coach to help you stay on track as well.
- Do You Struggle with Self-discipline?
- Refresh your Life: 9 Ways to Manifest Positive Change
- Are You Ready for a Personal Transformation?
- New Year’s Resolutions: Questions and Answers
- New Year’s Resolutions vs. Word of the Year: Which is Better?
- 10 Quotes About New Beginnings for a New Year
Final Thoughts on How to Create New Year’s Resolutions That Stick: Expert Tips
Hopefully now you have a clearer understanding of how to set New Year’s Resolutions, and how to stick with them. Best of luck with your goals and Happy New Year!
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Lori is a happily 50+ woman striving to live her best life through self-awareness and self-care. She writes from experience, inspired by her own journey toward confidence, self-love, and positivity.
Holding degrees in Psychology, Education, and Nonprofit Management, Lori’s varied career has covered education administration, counseling, teaching, conference planning, and full-time motherhood. What do these roles all have in common? Caring for other people.
Today, Lori cares for others by promoting the benefits of self-care for mature women. She stands firm in her belief that through self-care, all women over 50 can feel confident, capable, and happy.