We’ve all imagined or been told that a New Year’s resolution is a great idea. It also makes sense because the New Year is a new beginning. And we have big plans for the coming year. But how long can the fun last? Isn’t that short? Suddenly we feel the challenges of forming new habits or breaking old ones.
The New Year’s sequel that was supposed to be easy and fun to follow to the door becomes a much bigger mission than we thought. Because I’ve had success with my New Year’s resolutions for several years, I’ve created a three-step guide to help you keep yours.
This guide works whether you want to start new habits or break old ones.
Set a realistic goal.
- goals and plans Resolutions that stick. Here’s how to make and keep your next New Year’s resolution.
- Maybe you want to lose weight, stop drinking alcohol and smoking, exercise five times a week, and spend more time with your family.
- If your New Year’s sequel sounds like that, you probably failed.
- A New Year’s resolution must be concise and easy to formulate.
- So prepare yourself for the changes you want to see in your life.
Model WHAT, WHY, and HOW
new year’s goals
The easiest model is to form a simple sentence containing your New Year’s sequel.
This year, my WHAT sentence is:
“In 2022, I will prioritize my mental health.”
Next, formulate a WHY. This sentence reminds you of your resolution.
Another example of a WHAT sentence:
Can I stop smoking?”
This year, my WHY sentence is:
“Because my mental health affects my productivity and relationships”
This is the sentence that often hurts the most to read, and it is vital that you write it down completely.
If we use the second WHAT example of quitting smoking, we could design a WHY sentence like this:
“Because I negatively impact my children’s lives and health”
Our New Year’s sequel has two major pillars now.
What do we want changed? – and while New Year’s resolutions may sound like a broad topic, there are three subcategories that will help you succeed.
So, let’s see what we can do to improve our mental health or stop smoking.
- My New Year’s resolution has three subcategories called HOW the phrases.
- 3x/week meditation or breathing exercises
- I drink water with my coffee or cola.
- Get a monthly facial. (because my unclean skin makes me sad)
These subcategories are simple to follow and each one adds to a good habit that will improve my mental health.
1. The first requires me to form a new habit. But it’s a quick habit that takes 5-30 minutes per week. This is a new habit, but not as difficult as writing an hour of yoga and 30 minutes of meditation twice a week.
HOW No. 2 is a new habit I must develop. My daily caffeine intake is detrimental to my mental health. So now I have to drink water after every caffeine drink. It’s always a good idea to link new habits to existing ones. It’s easier to remember and thus keep.
HOW No. 3 motivates me to succeed in the other categories.
This habit almost acts as a reward for the other habits. In fact, this habit is because I have low self-esteem due to my impure skin, and removing or reducing it will help my mental health.
We’ve done the easy part. We’ve shaped our New Year’s continuation and laid the groundwork for compliance.
Let’s now discuss our compliance.
- plan for the new year
- When I do New Year’s resumes, I do a weekly review to see how it all went.
- It’s a great stress reliever. And I strongly advise you to write it down.
- You can follow the process later if you write it down. But more on that later in this article.
- My New Year’s resolution has suddenly become a habit, so I need less check ups as the year progresses. Your mileage may vary, but I’ve found that starting in April, I can get by with just one checkup per month.
- This step may seem redundant, but it is vital to achieving the goal. You expect a “MOUSE” conversation with yourself and hope it goes well.
Relax and enjoy the process.
- new year hold on
- If you’ve ever succeeded at something difficult in your life, you know that success isn’t linear.
- Sometimes it feels like it’s all falling apart, and other times it’s just running out of there.
- This is a fact you must accept, but do not use as an excuse if you fail to keep your New Year’s resolution.
- To keep your New Year’s resolution, you must learn to recognize and manage the different phases.
- Let’s say you’re trying to quit smoking and you slip up at a party. The next day, you’ll probably say “Fuck what I tried” and go back to your old habits.
- So stupid, I can’t even stop smoking, so blah, blah.
- If you’re about to give up, pause, remember why you quit smoking, and reverse course.
- Accept that everyone makes mistakes and use your guilt to correct and address your mistakes.
- It’s okay to feel guilty, but not to let it consume us. Accept our mistake and note what happened when it happened.
- So we’ll know when we’re about to fail next time.
- The challenge of success is finding the perfect balance between failure and success.
- And in bad times, we humans knock ourselves out before we feel it was all for naught.
- This is where we need to review our previous “check ups” or our WHAT, WHY, HOW model.
- These two steps inspire. We can see how far we’ve come and how hard it was to get there.
- Remember to look at your notes before you give up.
Set some goals and reward yourself when you reach them. It can be weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Every milestone you reach is a good thing for you. Spend two hours on YOU, buy a new blouse, get a massage, or cook a healthy meal.
The rewards must not be related to your New Year’s resolution. If you quit smoking or want to lose weight, your reward should not be a cigarette or a bag of Haribo.
Set some dates on your calendar to reward yourself if you are good and keep your New Year’s resolution.
Begin with small rewards more frequently at the beginning of the year, and gradually increase the intervals between milestones. Set your milestones as an extension of your “check ups”
Keeping your New Year’s resolution this year is a reward in itself, but I still need rewards, so I’ve made a little schedule of rewards, which I’d like to outline below.
Check-up and reward schedule:
- Exam – reward = foot treatment (20/01)
- January 30: Checkup + long soak with candles, wine, and music.
- 15 February: Checkup – reward = Day off to cuddle about me
- 28 February: Checkup + reward = Dinner, wine, and cake
- 15 March: Examine – reward = Buy new skincare
- 30 March: Reward = Book a massage
- 15 April: Reward = Buy something for the house
- May 15: Check up – reward = Belmonde picnic (a hotel I love)
- 15 June: Reward = Buy a yummy scented candle
- 15 July: Checkup – reward = A day alone on the beach with a book
- – reward = romantic weekend stay
- 15 September: Checkup + reward = Buy myself something nice (birthday month, so extra big reward)
- 15 Oct: Checkup + Reward = Massage
Thanksgiving Dinner at my favorite restaurant
Exam + reward = chemical facial peeling
Your rewards may be different, but having them will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions. Even if you fail and don’t get the reward, it’s good to see the process.
However, you should not use the rewards as a goal. Your goal is to keep your New Year’s resolutions.
I hope you’ll give this New Year’s continuation guide a shot and find it inspiring and motivating. It worked for me, so I thought I’d share it with you!
Happy New Year!