Resolutions for the new year - do you love them, despise them, or land somewhere in between?
There seems to be a lot of talk about failed resolutions. More and more, people are asking the question, “Why have resolutions if they fail anyways?”
I’ve been there! I’ve certainly had resolutions fail before. But contrary to popular belief, there ARE ways to keep your resolutions on track. They CAN stick, and you CAN accomplish them!
So today, I’m sharing my 5 keys to creating resolutions that stick.
But before we jump into the solution to the problem, let’s talk a little bit about the problem itself. How did we get here? Why do resolutions fail?
It’s all about the approach, especially in the beginning. When you identify a resolution you want to make, maybe you write it down somewhere. But then, you never look at it again. You know where it’s written, and you even remember it in the back of your mind from time to time. But you never really go back to it, do you?
Another reason you might not be accomplishing the resolutions you made for yourself is because your schedule doesn’t support them. It’s likely that your resolutions will take some time. However, if you don’t leave any time for them in your schedule, they’re set up to fail from the start!
And lastly, you might not be accomplishing your resolutions because you haven’t broken down your resolution into smaller actions that will help you accomplish your goal.
If you find yourself resonating with any of these reasons, let me tell you that this is totally normal. It’s possible that you might not know where to start, and that’s okay! My hope is that today’s episode will help you uncover the reasons why your resolution might not be sticking, and how we can move past this to make them successfully stick in 2023!
5 Keys to Creating Resolutions That Stick
1. Dream planning clarity - figure out what your dreams are
This is the fun part! You get to determine what your dreams are, and what you desire to accomplish. While you determine what those dreams are, I cannot urge you enough to make sure those dreams align with who you’re becoming, and specifically, who you’re becoming in Christ Jesus.
When our dreams don’t align with our “why”, or with our spiritual life, then those dreams can quickly become burdens to us. And burdens get abandoned!
Two parts to clarifying your dreams:
- First, create your bucket list.
- This is where you determine what your dreams really are.
- For more on bucket list dream planning, go back and listen to episode 154.
- Second, determine your personal growth plan.
- This is where you actually put a plan in place to accomplish your dreams.
- For more on building your personal growth plan, go back and listen to episode 155.
2. Ranking - organize your dreams
You might be thinking…organize your dreams? Yes! Although your dreams don’t quite fit inside your organized kitchen cabinets or hallway closet, your dreams CAN be organized. Let me show you how.
Habits vs. Goals: First, look at your list of dreams, and determine which of them should become habits in your life, and which of them are long-term goals.
- Habits: Things you want to do on a daily or weekly basis.
- Habits tend to be a “plus” or a “minus” - you will either be adding something to your week, or removing something from your week.
- When you break a resolution down into what you can do to accomplish that resolution on a daily or weekly basis, you’re putting a plan in place that leads to success!
- If you have trouble breaking up your resolution into attainable steps, ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do on a weekly basis to move towards accomplishment?”
- Goals: Big dreams for your life.
- Once you determine what these goals are, prioritize them.
- Determine which ones are high priority, and which ones are low priority.
- Now, circle your top 3 goals for 2023!
3. Eliminate perfection
When we approach our goals, we will be tempted to approach them with the incredible pressure to be perfect. In order to accomplish our goals, it’s really important for us to not put pressure on ourselves to be perfect.
If we truly want something to stick, we have to be willing to embrace the fact that we will fall off the wagon at some point, and that’s okay! We have to take this idea of “perfection”, put it in a box, tape it up, and throw it out the window. Instead, we are going to push for progress over perfection.
Why? Well, perfection is going to hold you back due to fear, fear of judgment, fear of failure, etc. Perfection masquerades as excellence, and it’s not.
To help us eliminate perfection from our resolutions, we can ask ourselves, “What am I going to do the day I fall off the wagon?” What’s your plan for that “day after” it goes wrong? Is your plan to beat yourself up about it and give up? It shouldn’t be! Instead, your plan should be to get back up, and try again.
4. Assign an action or activity to your resolution
How do we actually make our resolutions actionable?
- Habits: These should be “bite sized” activities.
- What can you do daily or weekly to move towards accomplishing your resolution?
- Goals: We can put a bigger plan to our goals by mapping out the plan.
- Depending on the goal, we can create an action map, a timeline, a list of key checkpoints, etc.
- For more on mapping out your top 3 goals, listen to episode 131!
5. Plan your week in a way that supports your goals and habits
In the midst of all of this, remember that the week you plan for yourself should be realistic for you! Don’t forget step 3 - eliminate perfection. To actually achieve your habits and goals, you have to include time and space within your schedule for them.
This means that you’ll need to carve out time in your schedule. Make dedicated time for them! You can start by simply opening up your planner, and deciding on when you will make time for your resolutions. As a pro tip, schedule these things FIRST to ensure that they don’t fall off the list of things you’ll do throughout your week! Then, plan the rest of your schedule around this time.In summary:
- To make resolutions stick, they need to become part of your schedule.
- Resolutions should be connected to who you are becoming, and your own personal “why."
- And if you want a big thing to really stick in your life, define why it matters to you!