Jan 10, 2018

New Year Resolutions: Why To Make Them, How To Keep Them

By: Russ Zalatimo

At the close of every year, we are faced with the self-imposed task of setting resolutions for entering into the new year. From a new diet plan to better sleep habits, resolutions tend to start off strong, yet taper off before February even hits. It’s both a frustrating and discouraging phenomenon, as we rarely get to realize any of those resolutions to the fullest extent of that year. You’ve set those intentions for a reason, however. You’re aware of necessary changes you’d like to make for your life, though the commitment to that change becomes the big hindrance. When you’re an entrepreneur with a burgeoning new business venture, those resolutions can be the difference between a killer year for your company or one that is just simply satisfactory.

Our instincts sometimes lead us in the opposite direction, not making resolutions at all because the seemingly inevitable failure in keeping them is enough to annoy you right out of the ritual. But making resolutions is the first step to hopefully keeping them. Identifying necessary changes you’d like to make in the hopes of adopting them long-term helps you visual the road ahead—no matter how long that road may be. We are constantly told to speak things into existence; resolutions are no different. There are, in fact, ways to make your resolutions stick and increase your success rate. Here are a few:

Don’t begin your resolutions on January 1.

The “Day 1” approach to making a change oftentimes comes with the assumption that should you fall off track at all, you have to wait another whole year for that Day 1 to happen again. Plus, the first week of the new year is still the closing period of the holidays for so many, so the focus is not entirely there. The key is to start at a time that isn’t January 1st. Maybe start a few weeks into the new year; maybe start in March. It’s psychologically less stressful to make changes at a time when we’re not pressured to do so. That ups your chances of sticking to those changes significantly.

Define your resolutions explicitly and reasonably.

For many, a simple “lose weight” suffices as their resolution, which is far too vague to even measure the success. When making your resolutions, be as detailed as possible. That way you have a clear marker for your goals. You can even show how you plan on achieving them. Don’t be too detailed, however. For example, if your resolution is “lose ten pounds by March” and you’ve only lost six by then, you may fall off the wagon instead of adopting better eating habits. Define your resolutions, but also be reasonable. That’s where the success of change truly lies.

Write your resolutions down.

Like any new venture, a road map is always helpful. With resolutions, simply vocalizing them might not be enough. From a journal to even a vision board, your resolutions will look far more doable when they’re tangible and not just an abstract idea that lives in your mind. You can also write down that process of how you plan on achieving those goals in ink, which for many sets it in stone. Then you’ve theoretically signed a contract with yourself and you must commit to it.

Check in on your resolutions.

Once resolutions are set, we rarely follow up to see how we’re doing with them. Set dates on a calendar or journal to check in on your progress. Have your sleep habits improved? Are you working out more? Is your productivity at work any better? Any resolutions you plan on making must be tracked to make sure they’re actually being achieved. And if you slip up? Start again. That’s the beauty in not beginning on January 1st. Your Day 1 can be any day if you let it. Just make sure you’re tuned in at Day 45 or even Day 270 to make sure you’re achieving what you set out to do.

Invest in your resolutions.

When we financially invest in something, there is almost a forced commitment there. The same can be said for resolutions in a sense. Let’s say you’d like to learn how to take pictures on that new camera you received for Christmas. An investment in that resolution is signing up for a photography course. Or let’s say you’re looking to purchase real estate. A class on flipping homes is a way to invest in that resolution. Do you want to go to the gym more? Maybe sign up for a personal trainer. Want to lose weight? Join an organized weight loss program. Investments into lifestyle changes of any kind can push you further in achieving those changes. That way you’re not only making resolutions, but also keeping them.

Author Profile

R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.