Top Tips for Sticking To a New Year’s Resolution

We love the idea of “New Year, New Me.” Well, some of us do. According to YouGov 21% of us will set a New Year’s Resolution this year, but the vast majority of us will fail. Within a week 21% of people will have already given up on their NYR. So, is there anything you can do to help keep it up? Of course there is, and that’s what I aim to tell you via this blog post.

Keep It Simple

The problem with NYRs is that they’re often overly ambitions. People set the unattainable target of going to the gym 5 times a week, never eating junk food again, or pursuing a career ambition with no clear objective in mind. Drastic change in our lifestyle is met with drastically felt Resistance.

Remember, this is a resolution to take into the whole year, you don’t need to achieve it within the first two weeks. It’s about instilling habits that will hopefully stay with you. Why not try to start off a little smaller, and merely cut down on what you already do, or go to the gym just once a week, and just take it from there.

You’re Going to Have to Beat Resistance

What’s Resistance, and why is it capitalised? Ask Steven Pressfield. But you already know Resistance. It’s been with you your whole life, you’ve just either not realised it’s there, or you’ve given it a different name.

But Resistance is what convinces us to quit anything that gives us long-term growth, health or integrity, and instead seeks immediate gratification. It’s our more primal instincts defeating our higher nature. In essence, it’s what tells us to quit. It gives us excuses, it tells us we’re not good enough, it tells us that no one cares and its negative energy field will pulverise all our hopes and dreams if we let it.

I think Resistance is more prevalent in modern society than at any other time in our history. We’re people always looking to seek that immediate gratification. When you refresh that Twitter feed, when you just want to eat that little bit of mouth pleasure that a donuts gives you, when you want to aimlessly sit in front of the television for hours on end. It’s human entropy, and it’s destroying so many people without them even noticing.

If you start a NYR, you’ll hear Resistance. It will give you every excuse in the book to eventually fall out of practice and give up your pursuit.

Make It a Resolution, Not a Goal

Some people decide that their New Year’s Resolution is something along the lines of hitting a certain weight. But that’s a goal. A NYR is something that will change your habits, your lifestyle, or a part of your personality that eventually leads to change in other areas. If you want to lose weight, then your resolution would be something like eat less takeaway, exercise more frequently, cook more homemade food. Remember, you are trying to make a lifestyle choice, not hit a target and then give up.

Don’t Fear Failure

Chances are, you’re not going to stick to this goal. Depending on the research you read, there’s either a roughly 90% chance you’ll fail, or a 50% chance (even if that was self reported), it all depends on who’s research you want to side with. Either way, chances are, this time next year, you won’t be doing this new thing that you want to embark on.

But you shouldn’t fear that failure. There is nothing wrong with failing. I do it all the time, and every time I do, I learn something new, get back on and keep going.

Chances are, you will waiver slightly on this resolution, but that doesn’t mean you’re done. Missed going to the gym for two weeks? Yes, it’s very easy to keep the momentum going in a negative direction. It’s the easiest choice you can make. But all you have to do is go that one time again and the momentum shifts back in a positive direction.

How Do I Stick to My Resolution?

Do you really want to know how to stick to your resolution? It’s actually quite simple:

Just Show Up

Do you think it’s not as easy as that? Well you’re wrong, and in fact, you’re already doing it. You probably do it the majority of the week, and you’re going to keep on doing it for quite some time. It’s called our jobs. Every day when we are due into work, we show up. Unless we’re physically or mentally unable to perform, we show up. We don’t give an excuse of “but I’m not very good”, or “maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.” No. We show up no matter what.

You need to treat this new resolution as if it was your job. Even if you don’t want to sit at the desk and write, scrape the ice off the car to go to the gym or cook that healthy meal when Just Eat has already been opened up. You owe it to yourself to actually do it. And now that you know what’s telling you not to do it, you can look at Resistance directly in the face and say “not today.”

Even now I’m feeling resistance. There’s a part of me saying “why are you writing this, no one cares?” Every now and then I feel like pressing CTRL+A and delete. But I’m not going to. I understand what’s happening, and I know that it’s just resistance telling me to give up. I get it all the time with this blog as it’s a creative pursuit, but I just have to ignore it.

If I give up this time, then what’s stopping me from doing the same thing next time? My resolution for the year, not that I really have one, is to keep on writing. To show up every week and write something. Do I know what it will be, or will I always want to do it? The answer is no, to both. But here I am. And here I will be this time next year. For today, I have beaten Resistance.

Thank you for reading this. Some of what I’ve talked about here is inspired by Steven Pressfield’s amazing book The War of Art. It helped changed my life. And if some of what you have read here sparks an interest in you, then feel free to buy this book here.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Top Tips for Sticking To a New Year’s Resolution

  1. I’m not a fan of NYRs. I’m more of a monthly goals kinda guy but there’s plenty of good advice here (even if one of them is to set resolutions rather than goals 🤣).

    This year I plan to do enough writing to sustain my life as a stay at home parent and grab as much quality kid time as I can. I feel both are realistic goals

    Like

  2. I never have resolutions or goals so hard to keep to , I have never set a blogging goal and just go with the flow really great read Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Like

  3. I don’t often make resolutions, but this year my husband and I have both promised to spend more time connecting with each other. Last year was a tough one for us to find any time for us as a couple, and as we had a very young baby, I guess that was inevitable, but this year we’re determined to make it work. I can see how these tips can apply to us and our resolution – thank you! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    Like

    1. That’s ok, I’ll try and join in every week, and hopefully you can find time to connect, I know me and my partner have had to make sure we find time for each other too

      Like

  4. Thank you for the great insight! Setting goals and making changes is so hard at times. But bettering ourselves and not settling for the status qoe I think is important. I have not set any definate changes yet, but like you, I want them to be more like lifestyle changes. Thing that I put into place for the long haul. Thanks for the tips!!

    I loved you vlog btw! Funny! And what an adorable little girl!

    Thanks for linking up at #LiveLifeWell!!!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been learning more about habits, and how our bodies are wired to keep us from uncomfortable things…which makes sense. I don’t really set NYR anymore. I typically set quarterly goals. Your suggestions to help make them more successful are good! Perfection is one of our biggest enemies. When we don’t get it perfect, we quit instead of continuing to make progress for the rest of the year. I’m guilty of this as well. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Live Life Well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me it’s always just been about showing up. If you keep showing up your mind and body will know what’s coming. It’s like people who get writers block, you just have to show up and write and eventually everything will come. Thank you for reading!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s