How to Make a New Year’s Resolution That Actually Sticks

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This December, millions of people around the world will set their hopeful eyes on the new year — excited about what opportunities January might bring.

Many of us set New Year’s Resolutions in hopes that things will be different. We say we’ll exercise more, or be more productive, or call our parents more often, or cut back on screen time.

We get excited. We start out with a bang in January. But according to US News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions will fail by the second week of February.

Here are four steps to setting a resolution that actually sticks this year — and making sure you’re one of the 20% whose resolution comes to life ?

 

Step 1: What do you want?

In this step, you set your New Year’s resolution. What do you want to be different about the year ahead?

The most common New Year’s resolutions are to eat healthier, get more exercise, and save money. This is your opportunity to dream big and get excited about the possibilities ahead.

 

Step 2: Why do you want it?

Many resolutions fail because when it comes down to it, we aren’t that attached to them. When reaching our resolution starts to feel inconvenient, it can be tempting to revert to our former habits.

To counteract this tendency, think about why you really want the resolution that you’re setting. Getting clear on this “why” will remind you of the benefits of achieving your goal — even on days when your old habits threaten to set in.

If you want to eat healthier, your “why” could be that you’ll have more energy to play volleyball on Saturdays. If your resolution is to get a new job, your “why” could be that a new job will give you more time to spend with your kids.

What’s the “why” that is going to carry you forward? Write it down, put it on a sticky note, and post your “why” somewhere where you’ll see it frequently.

set a new years resolution

Step 3: What change are you going to make?

There’s an old (and painfully true) adage that says: If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Meaning that if you want to lose weight, but you keep the exact same diet and fitness habits you have now… you won’t lose the weight. If you say you want to write a book, but you spend your evenings scrolling social media on your couch instead of writing… that book will remain a pipe dream.

So what specifically will you do to bring your dream to reality?

When thinking about this step, focus on actions that are within your control. If you’re a blogger who wants to grow your audience, don’t just sit back and hope the clicks come rolling in. Who specifically can you reach out to for guest posts? What podcasts would be a great fit for you to share your stories and expertise?

Decide on your specific action step ideas before January so that you’re ready to start taking action right away in the new year.

happy new year

Step 4: What habits do you need to adopt to make that change?

This last step is where all the magic happens. Once you decide what you’re going to change, grab your planner and write down when exactly you will take the actions you outlined in step 3.

Make sure these habits are realistic, and that you can see yourself sticking to them. It’s okay to make habits that are a bit of a challenge; however, if you haven’t exercised in five years, then you suddenly declare that you’re going to run 12 miles a day… it’s unlikely that you’ll stick to that habit.

Small consistent habits are more effective than giant promises made in your moments of inspiration. Tangible habits could include attending the 6 AM Pilates class on Tuesdays, or working your way up to running two miles twice a week. If you’re a blogger, a new habit could be spending two hours every Wednesday finding and pitching guest blog opportunities to grow your audience.

Put these actions in your calendar, and treat them like non-negotiable business meetings. When you take your resolutions seriously, stay connected to the “why” behind them, and change your daily habits to make room for your resolution, you will be well on your way to a resolution that sticks long past February.

 


If your New Year’s Resolution involves meeting more people, growing your network, being more productive, or working remotely… it’s never too late to explore the idea of working from a coworking space.

You can sign up for our email list here to receive a free trial day at MELD Coworking to see if our space and community are the right fit for you. We hope to see you soon!

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