Here’s How to Keep Your Resolutions This Year!
by Lou-Ann Jordan Dec 26, 2022
The year is almost at its end, and we stand on the threshold of 2023.
For many, this time of year signifies a long-held tradition—the setting of New Year’s resolutions. Others of us may baulk at the term but still have established goals for the year approaching. Then some simplify things and settle on a single word they focus on for the year. The principle is the same for any of these; we go into the new year focusing on specific behaviours, actions, or new ways of thinking we would like to engage in throughout the year.
It’s an exciting time, and the possibility of change makes it even more so. However, as we all know, determining what we want to accomplish is easy, but maintaining resolutions or goals can be difficult. Some have ‘thrown in the towel’ on this tradition finding it too challenging to uphold the heartfelt, hopeful intentions expressed eagerly in January. Others of us, though simplifying it, still have difficulty holding on to the plans or even the ‘word of the year’ that we had selected to guide us.
This year, we want to say, don’t give in to disillusionment. While statistics presented by the US News showed that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned before the first half of the year, it is possible to remain committed to your resolutions. However, it will take intentionality not to become a statistic.
First, before you begin impulsively uttering your resolutions, plans, or words, let’s discuss one of the main reasons they fail. As we mentioned earlier, a new year is thrilling. Suddenly, there seems to be an opportunity to begin anew. However, the hopeful declaration to lose weight, save more, reduce debt, eat healthier, begin a degree, and treat others better subsides into an aggrieved murmur that reveals little determination and zero motivation.
The American philosopher and psychologist William James said: “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspect of their lives.” So the key to keeping your resolutions this year is—changing your mind!
The resulting question is how? How do we go about changing the way we think? Here are a few practical ways that can help.
Times of Reflection
Choose a day in the week and spend a few hours in self-reflection. As your goal is to set resolutions or goals for the new year, list those and review them individually. Ask yourself if you believe you can accomplish them. Examine your responses, especially if they are negative.
Now, motivational videos may sound cliché, but they can be incredibly inspiring. Check out personal development trainer Brendon Burchard’s videos. Brendon offers witty and practical instructions on self-development, which are as entertaining as they are helpful. He’s excellent at providing concrete and measurable tasks.
We troll the internet for all kinds of things. Why not search for quotes that inspire and provoke you to think and act differently? At brainyquotes.com, you’ll find gems like the late Audrey Hepburn’s: “There is no such thing as impossible. The very word says: I’m possible.”
Do you talk to yourself? Come on, be honest. We all do. Now, have you ever paid attention to what you say? We’re not talking about mumbling a reminder about a task or venting about a situation that annoyed you. We’re talking about negative self-talk. It’s time to change that to something positive. It comes with practice, but it’s time to arrest those negative whispers and replace them with a thought that builds your self-esteem. Change your narrative. Begin anew by identifying your strengths.
Read Someone’s Story
Autobiographies are incredibly motivating. Reading about how other people have overcome difficulties or failures and progressed to victory can be uplifting. Try an audiobook or have a “true-life story” marathon if reading is not your thing. To get you started, Hacksaw Ridge is fantastic. Based on a true story, it depicts the life of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, a soldier in World War II. The movie explores Pfc. Doss resolute refusal to bear arms on religious grounds, despite the many hardships that decision brought, and his eventual award of the United States Congressional Medal of Honor.
Don’t avoid making plans or hoping to make changes in the upcoming year. Let go of past failures. Begin anew. But, with a new technique that begins with realigning your thinking. If you work on your mind, it will translate into changed actions.