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4 ways to make your New Year's resolutions stick

Yahoo Finance contributor
·Contributor
·5-min read
 New Years goals written in notebook on a table.
4 ways to make your New Year's resolutions stick. Source: Getty

Each year, you make your new year’s resolutions.

And by the end of each year, how many of those resolutions have you fulfilled?

An Ipsos poll showed that over 50% did not fulfil their 2020 resolutions — 11% gave up after only one month.

You start the year with determination, and yet delivering on your goals somehow eludes you.

In 2021, how do you set a goal and actually achieve it?

What if I told you that the way you’re viewing your resolutions is counter-productive? Part of the solution is reframing your process for new year goal setting.

Let’s learn more.

The Danger of Outward Accomplishments

When women create new year resolutions, it usually involves some external achievement.

My new year’s resolution is to…

  • Lose 30 lbs.

  • Get a promotion.

  • Move into a bigger home.

  • Make X amount of money.

Outward accomplishments are fine. Here’s how they become unhealthy:

When I lose 30 pounds, then I’ll be happy.

When I get a promotion, then I’ll be happy.

When I move into a bigger home, then I’ll be happy.

When I make this much, then I’ll be happy.

But what happens when you don’t reach those external goals? First, you feel unhappy because you made your happiness dependent on that outcome. You may also…

  • Blame yourself

  • Feel weak

  • Lose faith in yourself

  • Question your self-worth

This is often the pitfall of setting resolutions that focus on external accomplishments.

What you can do instead…

Instead of creating 2021 resolutions that depend on outcomes (that usually involve some arbitrary number), focus on small daily habits rooted in self-love and self-care.

Because here’s the thing about self-love and self-care…

When you learn how to love and care for yourself, you become empowered. And when you’re empowered, you are more likely to attract abundance into your life.

And isn’t abundance what most resolutions are about?

  • Being healthier so you can access increased energy and inspiration.

  • Being more financially secure so you can provide for your loved ones.

  • Being more balanced so you invite greater ease and joy.

Small daily habits — daily walks, 10 minutes of meditation, 5 minutes of prayer, and journaling — slowly manifest those outward accomplishments.

Self-care and self-love become the pathway to the abundance you desire.

Are you seeing the difference?

Now, let’s move on to two tips for following through with the resolutions you set for 2021.

How to stick with daily habits that will manifest your New Year’s Resolutions

#1 Focus on the trees, not the forest

Remember: resolutions are only dreams until you have a plan for achieving them.

It isn’t enough to say, I want to lose 30 pounds. That’s looking at the forest.

Dive deeper and ask yourself, What small daily habit can I do to lose 30 pounds over the year?

Now you’re looking at the trees.

Small daily habits for losing 30 pounds might look like:

  • Walking around the neighbourhood for 30 minutes

  • Adding 20 minutes of yoga to your morning routine

  • Eating a piece of fruit with your lunch, instead of chips or sweets

  • Enjoying a light salad before meals to help fill you up

Looking at the forest is great for setting a direction — lose 30 pounds, feel more balanced, be more organised. But looking at the trees involve those daily acts of self-care and self-love that will manifest those resolutions into your reality.

And start small.

Let the habit form over three weeks of daily practice. And when you’re ready, either add another new habit or increase the difficulty of your original daily habit — try jogging instead of walking or try more challenging yoga poses.

#2 Stop the all-or-nothing mentality

You know what I mean.

How many times have you started a diet, and then this happens on a Friday night…

I overindulged and ruined my diet. I might as well go crazy this weekend and get back on track on Monday.

You use one cheat meal to justify bingeing for the rest of the weekend!

It’s time to stop the all-or-nothing mentality.

Chances are, you’ll slip up throughout the year. Instead of letting one stumble excuse more counterproductive behaviour, try this:

Don’t let it happen twice in a row.

Resolve to get back on track as soon as possible. Don’t postpone your resolutions to Monday or next month or next year!

Your Resolutions Are About Empowering You

Empowering YOU improves all aspects of your life — including supporting others.

Women, especially, can fall prey to over-giving to others at their expense. Despite your best intentions, this behaviour is counterproductive.

Why?

Because you can’t pour anything from an empty cup.

When you fill your cup, then you can fill the cups of others.

When you love yourself, then you have greater capacity to love others.

When you accumulate resources for yourself, then you have more to share with others.

No matter what your resolution is, this truth is what will drive you forward. Each act of self-care is about helping you become the best woman you can be. And, as a result, you become a woman capable of getting what she wants out of life and supporting others to do the same.

By Whitney Gordon-Mead, MSc, Speaker, Certified Life Coach, Ordained Minister at Intuit Wisdom, LLC.

Originally published on Thrive Global on 7 January 2021. To see the original article, click here.

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