As a new year begins, many people set resolutions or goals for the new year. Unfortunately, we all struggle to achieve our new year’s resolutions sometimes. If you are experiencing challenges as you pursue your goals, these recommendations may help you get back on track.
1. Overcome Lack of Motivation with Values
Many people struggle to complete their new year’s resolutions because they lose motivation after a few weeks. This often happens with goals that take time to see a noticeable difference or resolutions that require daily attention, but it can happen to anyone regardless of what they’re working towards.
If you experience a lack of motivation, think about the reasoning behind your new year’s resolution. Most people find it easier to remain motivated when the goals they set tie in with their personal values or long-term desires. If you aren’t sure what your values are, you can perform a values card sort or write out what is most important to you.
2. Combat Forgetfulness by Habit Stacking
Many new years resolutions require people to change routines, add in new activities, or stop doing something negative. Unfortunately, this makes it easy to go into “auto pilot” and forget all about these goals and desires. However, you can make it easier to remember if you use habit stacking.
Habit stacking is a concept where you connect a new habit or activity to something that is already a regular part of your routine. For example, say you want to exercise for 15 minutes each day as your new year’s resolution. If you weren’t exercising at all before, this can be hard to remember to do. But, if you decide you’ll exercise before you check the mail each afternoon and that’s something you’ve done for 3 years, it’s much easier to remember.
3. Challenge Lack of Specificity by Narrowing
Sometimes new years resolutions are hard to mainxtain when we aren’t specific enough. So, if you notice that your resolution to “get more sleep” isn’t helping, try to narrow it down more. You can change it to, “I will sleep for eight hours each night,” or “I will make myself lay down in my bed by 10:00 p.m. every evening.” This makes it easier to stick with because it’s a specific goal.
4. Overcome Accountability Issues Through Tracking
Many people need some form of accountability to do things they don’t enjoy. If that’s you, then you may benefit from finding a way to track your progress towards your new year’s resolution.
You can track your progress in several ways. For example, you can use a goal tracking app like Way of Life or Habitica. Or, if you prefer pen and paper, you can use a planner with goal tracking (like a Panda Planner) or even create a tracking chart and print it out. Regardless of how you track your progress, the act of tracking adds accountability.
5. Combat the “All or Nothing” Mentality with Flexibility
Although having broad goals makes it challenging to maintain a resolution, you can also go too far in the other direction. Many people view new year’s resolutions through a black and white lens, meaning it’s all or nothing. This makes failure feel that much worse, and happen that much more often.
So, instead of giving up if you forget to walk one day or when you buy something instead of saving your money, try approaching the resolution with flexibility. Tell yourself that mistakes happen, but you can recover. This will boost your confidence and help you keep trying.
6. Challenge Complacency by Rewarding Yourself
Resolutions can grow monotonous over time. When this happens, people can grow complacent and give up on their goals altogether. If this is a challenge you’ve encountered, you may want to look for ways to reward yourself.
You can set weekly, monthly, or even daily rewards depending on what your resolution is. Just make sure the rewards offer motivation without adding a habit you’ll later need to break.
7. Overcome Negativity by Spinning Positive
When we set resolutions, sometimes we don’t think about how they may cause us to think negatively. Usually, most people aren’t motivated by negativity, which makes resolutions like that hard to follow. So, instead of framing it negatively (“stop drinking soda”), you can make it positive (“drink more water”).
Achieve Your Resolutions
New year’s resolutions are a great way to start new habits or work towards goals you want to achieve. However, all resolutions come with their fair share of challenges along the way. If you encounter any of these common challenges, you now know exactly what to do to face them and overcome. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to achieve your resolutions!
If you haven’t set a resolution yet, it’s never too late to set some goals for productivity or efficient living.
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