How to follow through with your New Years Resolutions

We’ve all been there. We’re too lazy, stop caring, lose interest, and leave our resolutions list on a forgotten pile of paper until the New Year comes around and we think “man, this year, I’ll stick to it”. And yet, we spend every December January starting the cycle all over again.

This time, I bring you 4 steps that helped me stop said cycle and made me able to fulfill my resolutions.

1)      Be realistic.

This is the obvious one, yet many people just overlook it. “If I want to be a millionaire/start a huge corporation/etc., why wouldn’t I put it?” Because it’s not realistic, not in a 12-month period.

Instead, if your goal seems too far out there, write a step towards it. So, taking the millionaire example, write “save 10 grand, 100 grand” however much you want to, but always take into account how much you earn, how much you needto spend, and which things you can cut down on. And hey, if you do end up being a millionaire in a year, you’d exceed your expectations, and that’s always a good feeling!

2)      Plan of Action

You don’t need to go in full detail on all your resolutions, but if it’s a big one (I, for example, am moving abroad in December), having a plan of action that you can stick to while being able to make changes along the way is going to make your life way easier.

I highly suggest using the how method (like the famous 5 Whys). Start with your goal. How are you gonna get what you need? How are you going to gather what you need (i.e how are you going to raise money?)

3)      Get a planner

Time to stop carrying piles of papers with lists to do. Get a planner or a bullet journal (the original method. If you really want to focus on your resolutions, the artsy bullet journaling world will distract you greatly).

I usually recommend getting a planner if you have several, different tasks and a classic-method bullet journal if you have less tasks but requiring more steps. Don’t use it for trivial things, like events, UNLESS they infer directly into your goal. If you have a party, ask yourself, am I going to spend money on that party? Could I use my money toward my goal? If the answer is yes, then write how much you spent. (I keep using the money example because it is what most people need for their resolutions, this can apply to anything).

4)      DON’T discuss your resolutions

This is probably the most important step. Discussing or sharing your resolutions will, on the long run, just drain you from the initial motivation. If you’re curious about the scientific explanation why, there are tons and tons of research done, so if you’re interested, I suggest this article or if you’re done with reading,this ted talk by the same man.

Essentially, talking about your resolutions already gives you a sense of accomplishment, making you less likely to go through with them. A factor that also comes into play is people’s response: if they celebrate your resolution, you think “oh ok, that’s cool, I’m done for just thinking about it!” If, instead, you get a negative response, you think “Oh, nevermind, it’s not worth it”.

Finally, keeping the secret is useful if you think about other’s response when you announce you did something and they never even knew about it. The feeling of keeping a surprise, holding a mystery, fuels you to go through with it, as though you were on a mission. It may be hard to get used to at first, it sure was for me, but it is worth it.

That’s it! Good luck with your 2018 goals!

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