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How to stick to your New Year’s resolutions

 

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  1. Lose weight
  2. Go to the gym
  3. Save
  4. Invest
  5. Travel
  6. Have a car
  7. Have a house
  8. Build a business
  9. No vices
  10. Be debt-free

Is this a glimpse of your New Year’s resolution? If yes, you are in big trouble. Most likely, you will fail at just a few months in. I am not being pessimistic. I know that list. I have done that list and it does not work.

I have always believed that the New Year is new hope so, every New Year’s Eve, I sit down, grab my journal, and hurriedly jot down all my goals and resolutions for the upcoming year.

Yes, I tried to stick to them as long as I could. But I have observed that after a few months, I went back to my old self, my old habits.

When I went back to my resolu­tions list, I had a light bulb moment. For years, I have been failing not be­cause of my lack of willpower. I have always been motivated. I had failed to stick to my resolutions because of how I construct them.

Now that it is that season again, I will share with you the changes I have made in creating my list that made me stick to my resolutions throughout the year.

  1. Specify

Quit writing down vague goals. It is always better that you clearly define what you really want to ac­complish in the New Year.

A good example is everyone’s favorite goal: Losing weight. Specify how much weight you want to lose. 10 pounds? 20? 30? Also, specify a time frame for each goal. Is it 10 pounds for the whole year or 10 pounds per month?

If you want to save money, you must also define how much you want to save and by what time you must have completed it. “I must have saved R25,000 by June.”

Specifying goals gives you a clearer direction on how you will approach the upcoming year. If you clearly know what you want to accomplish this year, you will be more focused on working hard to get them.

  1. Size down

Most people love to write at least 10 New Year’s resolutions. They want to be better at 10 aspects of their lives in just a year! That is overwhelming! “So many things to do, so little time,” they say.

Because you want to be better at 10 things simultaneously, you are more likely to also fail 10 times. Big victory starts with small successes, so size down your enormous list.

Try this. Start with just writing down three goals. Prioritize the most important aspects of your life. You can eliminate other resolutions or merge them with other items.

By this simple way, you can be more focused on just sticking to your Top 3 goals this year. It now looks easier, right? You are over­whelmed no more!

  1. Systematize

Recipes, how-to guides, instruc­tions – everything is clearer and easier if there are steps to follow or if there is a clear system that will guide us. The same goes with achieving your goals – everything is easier if there is an effective and organized system.

For example, you want to save R25,000 by June. How are you going to build your system so you can achieve it?

Goal: R25,000 by June

System: I need to save at least R4,200 per month

How?

Save R1,000 per cut off

Sell at least R2,000 worth per month

No indulgence for now

Goal: Lose five pounds per month

System: Wake up at 5 a.m. every day to exercise

Do caloric deficit

16/8 intermittent fasting

Avoid sugar as much as pos­sible

A system may work for some people but may not work for you. You need to reflect and to under­stand yourself so you can build a system that is effective for you.

This step will definitely seal your success for the New Year. How­ever, you must note that creating a system is useless if you will not execute it. Conceptualize then im­mediately do the work.

Your improved New Year’s reso­lution may look a little bit more complicated than with what you are used to, but it is a clearer list complete with time frame and actions steps so you can ensure success.

Whenever you are intimidated with your new list, or whenever you are discouraged or demotivated, always remember that being better is not easy.

It is life-changing and uncom­fortable. But press on and keep disciplining yourself. You will be surprised how much better of a person you will be at the end of the year!

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.

  1. Have you ever been successful with sticking to your resolutions?
  2. Have you done your list of New Year’s resolutions? If not, how do you make yourself better?
  3. Do you have vague goals? How are you going to specify them?
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