How to Succeed with New Year’s Resolutions Once And for All

Through the years we’ve all made our resolutions… and we’ve all failed at some point.

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Let’s face it, we are tired of seeing how everyone is making their New Year’s resolution, reading articles about that everywhere, and mostly we are tired of us ourselves not being able to keep our promises and failing a month after we’ve made them.

But no matter how old-fashioned that is and how society and the media made it too big of a deal, we still think about it. And the closer 31 Dec. gets, the more we start making plans in our mind.

Because even if we fail a million times, even if we hate the idea of a New Year’s resolution and have decided not to do that anymore, we still have a little hope.

Even if that year wasn’t the best, or as we expected it to be, and even if we are not satisfied with the outcome of the last few years, we still believe that the next one can be different. Deep down we have that amazing quality that shows up only in dark moments. We have the hope that makes us try one more time. And who knows, maybe 2014 is going to be the change we’ve been waiting for and is going to bring us so many good things.

I also believe it can be so. And you should too, because this time we will analyze why things didn’t turn out for the best with the last resolutions we made and how to try a new strategy.

Why New Year’s resolutions usually fail?

The goals we set are too big.

Okay, we want a change. But it can’t happen all of a sudden. Big changes need time and it usually happens through achieving the small goals first.

We want too many things at once.

The number of our goals is the next problem that prevents us from succeeding.

We do it involuntarily.

Lately even making New Year’s resolutions has become a habit of ours. The fact that we’ve failed a few times already (didn’t keep our promises for the new year) makes it harder to do it right this time.On a subconscious level our mind has accepted the idea of failing again and won’t be surprised after the past disappointments. And everything that doesn’t engage our focus and isn’t done consciously, is meant to fail.

Everyone else is doing it.

The fact that everyone around us – and all the people on the Internet and TV too – is doing it again, is failing almost every year and doesn’t seem to be bothered by that, makes us take all this frivolously.The fact that we haven’t written our goals on a piece of sheet doesn’t mean we don’t plan any changes. We have them in our mind and this is often because the whole idea of becoming a new person in the new year is so popular. And even if it’s not that important to us, society makes us do it unintentionally.
So even if we want to do it right this time, we will still have the wrong idea of what the whole process means.

We aren’t motivated enough.

And without the stimulus and momentum we can’t achieve much.

We go back to our old habits not long after New Year’s Day.

After a month or so, when the holiday fever is gone and we are back to our everyday life, where everything seems so mundane and a big change just doesn’t fit in, we tend to slowly leave our new goals behind.

We do what we’ve always been doing. – We do the same things we did every time for the past few years and yet are disappointed when the result is the same.

Haven’t made a proper step-by-step plan. – Instead, we just rush into January expecting to have an extreme makeover and leave all our bad habits in the past year.

9 Reasons Why This Year Will Be Different

This can be the best year of your life so far only if you decide so. You can do these small changes and implement them into one big strategy:

1. Have a definite desire to change.

Want it bad enough to be ready to make sacrifices.

2. Have 1-3 big goals.

3. Make a well-planned step-by-step schedule.

For example, you can make a plan for each month of the following year and do your best to stick to it.

4. New source of motivation.

Find something new that will keep you constantly motivated and inspired. Obviously the stimuli you’ve used so far are not strong enough to keep you going.

5. A vision of success.

Spend time everyday visualizing your progress and the final result. Have a positive picture in your head and accept success on a deeper level first.

6. Engage other people.

Pay for a gym membership for the next 6 months or give money to a loyal friend and tell him to give them back to you month by month only if you stick to your plan. In a nutshell, make it hard for you to quit.

7. Keep a journal.

Write down all results, how you feel each day, your thoughts, etc.

8. Be mindful and aware.

When you reach your comfort zone and are close to your old habits, think of the reasons that made you start at the first place. Realize how important it is for you to finish what you’ve started.

9. Enjoy it.

It’s the biggest transformation you’ve made so far. And this is the best year of your life. Only happy days are ahead of you. Be grateful for everything and don’t forget to enjoy it.

Are you excited? What will your motivation be?
Share your thoughts, ideas and plans for the new year in the comments below.

Image by Edward Simpson @Flickr

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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  1. This is so true – I always review the resolutions I made around summer time and I always find that I haven’t really done any of them! Definitely planning on staying motivated in 2014! Great post πŸ™‚

  2. This is a great post and it’s true on how most people quit on their resolutions. I really like the idea on keeping a journal to write in daily. You gave some very nice tips and I’ll definitely keep them in mind. Happy holidays to you!!!

  3. Here’s a suggestion: look at a calendar of the entire year. All 365 days sitting there together. You’ll realize that the year is actually short, and there aren’t that many days. And then consider how long you’ll live…how many productive years you have left. This exercise will make you realize that each single day is actually a very precious, non-renewable resource.
    Then ask yourself what, vis-a-vis your resolutions, constitutes a “good day”, a “good week”, a “good month” and a “good quarter”. Good weeks are comprised of good days.
    At the beginning of each day, take a minute to contemplate what you need to do in order for that to be a “good day”. At the end of each day, take another minute to ask yourself “did I have a good day? why / why not?” Don’t dwell on anything. Accept the negative and the positive, and use that information as part of a feedback loop to get set up for the next day.

  4. This year I want to do things different…
    Goal #1: I want to “slow” down as much as humanly possible. – Life is so busy being busy and I’m missing out on so much NOW.
    Goal 2# Finish my masters. – Apply for the program and get accepted and start. Being knowledge is everything.
    Goal 3# Help manage my household in a way that will help maximize and achieve my goals, while helping my husband and children achieve theirs. πŸ™‚
    Love the suggestions! Hopefully everyone will have a successful 2014!
    Thank-you!
    http://followthezenroad.wordpress.com/

  5. I am pleased to tell you that I’ve awarded you the Blog of the Year Award 2013! There’s no obligation to accept, I understand completely if you don’t. Anyway, thanks for reading and liking my blog β€œadicanada” I appreciate your support. For details about the award, please see my post http://wp.me/p3ujR2-hg Have a Happy Holiday and All the best for you on the New Year!! Adrian B.

    1. So happy for you! Thanks for visiting and commenting.
      Unfortunately I’ve decided not to write for other people on my blog. Good luck with all your endeavours.

  6. lovely article! I don’t set new year’s resolutions anymore because they never go as planned. I had more success making one resolution once (not for new years) “focus on the now”. I tend to worry to much about what happened last year and what will happen tomorrow or next year. I try to focus on the present moment and even started meditating – which has greatly helped me with my anxiety! It’s the best resolution I ever made and it helps me to make daily little resolutions as I go along with life πŸ™‚ Wishing you a great holiday & a stunning vibrant and healthy 2014

    1. Thank you for the comment!
      You’ve taken a wise decision. Not living in the present is one of our biggest mistakes nowadays. I’m also working on that, as a part of my minimalist approach to life, and I can say I feel so much happier since I let go of the past and stopped worrying about the future.
      Good luck with that. You’re on the right path!

  7. Thanks for the tips! I found them very useful. πŸ™‚ My crucial sin is that I always end up making too high goals for myself, next year I have to be realistic πŸ™‚

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