7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Sustain Your New Year Resolutions

I thought about my New Year Resolutions somewhere in October, Yes that early! You can read all about them here – My New Year Resolutions

At the New Year Eve’s party (house party scenario, I don’t think anyone can hold a conversation in a pub), one of the hot topics of discussion almost always is “what is your new year resolution?”. Sometimes you get well calibrated, genuine answers, but most of the responses are casual and that are usually forgotten the next day.

Not everyone wants the year to end, for changing their lives.

Most common resolutions are the hardest to keep, be it losing weight, getting fit, making financial investments, joining hobby class, changing job or boss, quitting drinking alcohol or quit smoking, etc.

Researchers suggest that 80% of people who make resolutions, don’t sustain them after February. January is the month where everyone is hopeful and happy with the new routine, but then the decline happens gradually. By mid of the year, people tend to forget the “resolutions” and maybe push them for the next year.

This is like short-lived ‘Honeymoon syndrome’. There is thrill and excitement, talking about resolutions, exchanging notes and experiences with the close friends, and making extra efforts to ‘look & feel’ motivated. But soon, the honeymoon is over and people come down to the reality of marriage; find out reasons for not having time to put extra efforts and continue with the routine life.

I am intrigued by the thought of everyone desiring to make the change in their lives which will bring positivity and a feel-good factor. New Year is like a reset button, bringing the hope of a new us. So what blocks us and why don’t we stick to the plan?

Here are 7 simple ways to follow and sustain your resolutions to make positive changes in 2018

Get connected to your resolution: Treat your resolution as a new friend, and get to know the friend better. Ask questions and understand why you need the resolution, are you going to enjoy the benefits thereafter?

If your resolution is to get fit or fitter, ask yourself why you want to get fit? Is it your inner calling or because you have peer pressure? Why are you choosing this time to get fit? Why is it important?

Asking such questions and more will make you believe about the importance and gravity of your resolution, and help in sustaining it.

Make Goal statements: Even though you have resolutions ready, translate them into SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely) goal statements. Goals can be further divided into small actionable goals and furthermore to specific activities or tasks which would help in achieving those goals in a longer run.

Make your goals accessible and visible to you. I have written my goals on a fancy stationary and have stuck it in the door of my wardrobe, so every day I can visit them in privacy.

Make a plan: This is an important step. Make your own plan, be it your gym routine or your financial planning steps. It’s important to have your own personal plan. Yes, if you must, you may hire a nutritionist or a personal trainer whenever you want to accelerate your progress but until then, trust your own plan.

Make a journal entry/ keep a diary: Journaling is the best way to keep a track of your resolutions and goals. It feels so much better to open up and write about your progress, fears, feelings, plans without getting judged in return. It’s so easy to go back to the day when you started and reminisce about the feelings you had on day 1.

I use journalate.com to keep my dairy private and eco-friendly.

Never say Never: Don’t make over-ambitious goals like, I will never eat chocolate cake again. If you do, it will be very easy to feel demotivated. It’s Ok to eat your favourite food in moderation, once in a while. But when you indulge, make sure you go back to your routine with full energy and zest.

Execute & Reward yourself creatively: Make sure to execute your plan & routine, even if you lose track one day, get up and do it the next day. Reward yourself creatively once you achieve a milestone within your plan, buy that phone or a book or an appointment at your favourite spa, which you have been keeping on hold. You will feel elated and will keep yourself motivated for the next milestone.

It’s Ok to fail at times: Everyone, without any exception in the world, falls through the crack once in a while. Don’t take it as a big hurdle if you also do. Take a deep breath and stick to your plan to move forward. Take help of close family members or friends with whom you feel comfortable. If you still feel stuck, think about hiring a Life Coach to help you through your situation.

Follow these simple tips, and I am sure you will be able to achieve your resolutions and this year will be a different one. Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year.

If you like this article, do share it with your dear ones and help them achieve their resolutions.

6 Replies to “7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Sustain Your New Year Resolutions”

  1. Excellent write up. I usually don’t make resolutions. I make goals. There is a difference. A resolution resolution fails the first time you fail. A goal survives failures. Let me give you an example.

    “I will go out for a run every day this year” is a resolution (and a naïve one). Come Friday, you will drink and will have a hangover morning on Saturday. And there goes your resolution. Sunday morning you will think that the resolution is already broken, I am good for nothing, I will never succeed, etc. etc.

    “I will run 800 kms in 2018” is a goal. That’s about 67 kms a month. which is about 17 kms a week, which is either 2.5 kms a day or 4 kms a day four times in a week, or 2 kms a day thrice and 11kms on a weekend, or any other configuration.

    Let’s say you get drunk one Friday and fail to run on Saturday morning. You haven’t completely failed because you can meet your weekly target. Let’s say you fail to meet your weekly target, you can still catch up and meet your monthly target. Let’s say you fail a monthly target. You can catch up next month. Or you could on good days / weeks / months, run extra and build up a buffer.

    There multiple opportunities for you to meet your goals if you have a big picture goals instead of a resolution. You can apply this to anything. Weight, Foods, Bad habits.

    I find this a much better way of living a life.

    1. Resolutions trigger the goals for some people. New Year is the time, people start thinking about changes to bring in their lives. SMART goals should be made post the resolution statement.

  2. Shubhangi , great read. All the ways suggested are quite simple and executable , only if one gets disciplined in following through with them.

    Infact each step of new year reolution , selection setting and implementing makes me feel reminiscence of the way anyone would deal with the organisations New Year business target setting and achievement 😁.

    Well done to you and All the best for 2018.

    cheers
    JJ

    Ps : on a lighter note , I have resolved that only when I complete my previous years resolution only then I will make the next one .. ha ha .. so while i did not make a new resolution but burden of guilt of not being able to complete a resolution is actually bumped into this year for me by default 😆 . So your articl is surly a way for me to practice better execution. 👍

    1. That’s great Jatin. All you need is a trigger point. I think it’s a bold step to achieve previous resolutions before making new ones. All the best to you. Have a great and successful 2018

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