New Year, new you, right?
We all get excited to get a clean slate, to start over, and we think this year will be different.
But according to U.S. News & World Report, 80% of us will fail our New Year’s resolutions. It’s hard to believe that 25% of people will give up their resolutions merely just after the first week.
If that’s the case, then why do we keep making them only to keep failing year after year? Has it become such a norm that we don’t really think twice about keeping our promises to ourselves?
Why Resolutions Don’t Work?
We often set goals that are too high to reach and without a clear plan on how to tackle them. We have nobody to hold us accountable except for ourselves and we’re not always the best at that.
I will give you an example: Your alarm goes up in the morning. You don’t want to get up and go to work. But you force yourself to get up and go to work. Why? Because if you don’t, there are consequences.
Resolutions we set for ourselves don’t have real and direct consequences.
You want to lose 20 pounds, but that pizza looks good right now so you tell yourself that your diet can start tomorrow or whenever.
Sure, there might be consequences down the road (obesity, diabetes, etc), but you can’t be bothered with them right now.
So it begs the question: What can we do differently this year to make sure that we achieve 2023 resolutions? After all, we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
How To Reach Your 2023 Goals?
1. Learn From The Past
We can’t move forward until we learn what we did wrong. Now is a good time to think back to your 2022 resolutions and analyze why you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Here are a few things to ask yourself:
- Did you have too many resolutions?
- Were your resolutions too broad?
- Where did you struggle?
- Why did you lose your motivation?
- Did you have a realistic plan for your resolutions?
Knowing what went wrong or what didn’t work will help you tackle your 2023’s resolutions. I don’t consider myself a lazy person, yet I have a hard time finishing tasks or always putting them off until the last minute.
I always knew I had ADHD, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned how my brain worked and why it was preventing me from accomplishing goals.
I kept saying I didn’t have time to do my tasks but I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of hours on my phone because these mindless activities would give my brain a quick dopamine fix.
By analyzing our problems, we can work towards a solution for a better year ahead.
2. Are Your 2023 Resolutions Realistic?
Most people’s resolutions are to eat healthier, exercise more, and save more money. While these goals are great in making you better, you mostly will not achieve them unless you have a realistic plan.
Let’s use exercise as an example:
- How are you going to exercise more?
- How long will you exercise each day? (i.e. 30 minutes a day x 5 days a week)
- Will you exercise before or after work?
- When will your rest day(s) be?
- What kind of exercises will you do?
- When do you plan to accomplish your goal?
One way to tackle this is to do a weekly schedule the Sunday before. Write down specifically when you would exercise. For me, I block 8AM – 10AM for exercise. It doesn’t mean I would exercise for the whole 2 hours, but it gives me enough time to do yoga, meditate, and then hit the gym without feeling rushed.
You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
I am a firm believer in writing down everything I want to accomplish and setting a time allotment for each task. It can actually help with stress and anxiety because during that time frame, your only job is to focus on that one task.
3. Make Your 2023 Resolutions Visual
If you can see it, you can achieve it.
I have the attention span of a goldfish and get distracted easily. I have found over the years that writing down my tasks and scheduling them can really help me stay on task and get them done.
For 2023, I am taking things to the next level. Now that I know why I had a hard time accomplishing goals, I can work toward a solution to make sure I stay on course.
I made myself a visual board where I pin all my resolutions and inspirations and the timeframe I want to accomplish them.
Think about it – what better way to achieve your resolutions than by seeing them every day? If you don’t remember your goals, how will you ever achieve them?
Here are some of the things I’ve done to help me remember:
- Write my goals in my notebook
- Post-it notes on my laptop
- Reminders on my calendar
- Vision board – this is by far my favorite. The board is big enough for me to pin multiple things (yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily goals). I also share it with someone else so that we can keep each other motivated.
4. If You Fail To Plan, You Are Planning to Fail
Benjamin Franklin said it best – if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Without a plan, how would you know what it takes or how much work it needs for you to achieve your resolutions?
Your plan should detail what actions you need to take to achieve and maintain your resolutions. The more detail, the better.
For my board, I’ve written all the things I want to accomplish for 2023. I then break it down to each month, each week, each day, and then by the hour.
By assigning time slots for my tasks, it prevents my brain from wandering and wondering what to do next that I end up not doing anything.
Take the guesswork out of the equation and make it easy for your brain by writing down everything.
You can make it fun by adding a monthly “challenge”. The challenge is different every month to keep it interesting. If you are a blogger and write 5 blog posts a month, you can make it a challenge to write 20 for this month.
Next month, you can make it a different challenge (i.e. exercise for an hour instead of just 30 minutes per day). A month is not too long of a time for you to get burnt out, but long enough for you to see results.
5. Set Smaller Goals
A year might seem long, but 2024 will be here before you know it and you will be left wondering “what happened?”
To keep you stay motivated and not overwhelmed, approach your 2023 resolutions by writing down everything you want to accomplish, then further break it down to what you want to accomplish each month.
At the beginning of each month, write down your daily to-do list for that month.
What has helped me is assigning time slots for all the tasks, even something as insignificant as cleaning the house (if I don’t write it down, then I won’t do it).
Most of my tasks are the same every day such as the time I block out to exercise and to work on my blog, but I still write them down. I love being able to cross things off my list. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.
6. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is the best way to keep you motivated and staying on track. This is the reason why writing down your 2023 resolutions is so important in making it happen.
You can see in black and white what you have or have not accomplished and what you need to do to make your 2023 resolutions possible.
I change/modify my goals all the time. Things happen and sometimes you just can’t work on them and it’s ok. As long as you keep going and don’t give up, you are making progress.
7. Create Habits
Old habits die hard? Don’t believe that for a second.
The best way to make your 2023 resolutions stick is by making them a part of your daily routine. It takes a minimum of 21 days of doing the same thing daily for it to become a habit.
If you want to drink more water, create a habit of drinking a tall glass every morning when waking up. If you want to run a marathon, start with just one minute of no stopping. Small actions repeated daily will become a habit and you can keep building on them until you reach your goals.
8. Find Ways to Stay Motivated
“When you want to give up, remember why you started”
Do you want to lose weight because you want to have more energy and be around longer for your kids? Do you want to work on your blog after a long day of work because you want to be able to make money from it and leave your job? Whatever your “why” is, just keep reminding yourself and work towards your goals.
Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself motivated:
- Create a vision board and look at it every day to remind yourself. I always thought it was a silly idea until I started doing it myself and realized how powerful it is
- Reward yourself
- Surround yourself with like-minded people
- Visualize yourself succeeding is a powerful technique that can help you stay motivated.
9. Reward Your Success
Who doesn’t love rewards? If there is a pair of shoes that you’ve been wanting to buy, hold off on it and use it as a reward for a task accomplished.
The reward doesn’t even have to be something big. It can be something as small as giving yourself a day off just to be lazy and binge on Netflix (that’s my favorite reward right now).
10. Just Do Your Best
At the end of the day or year, all you can do is try your best. Even with the best intentions and a well-thought-out plan, we will occasionally slip up. After all, we’re only humans.
Don’t be so hard on yourself when this happens. The key is to celebrate small wins and keep working until you accomplish all your goals.
Resolutions are not easy since 80% of people will not be able to stick to their resolutions. But don’t give up and think that you will fail, instead, think of what you can do to achieve your resolutions.
What are your 2023 goals and how will you tackle them?