GWA 40: On Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s talk to you about New Year’s resolutions.

Around the end of the year, many of us make grand plans only to see them never realized the following year.

This can be avoided with a combination of proper planning and commitment. Here are some simple steps we can take to help improve our chances of keeping our New Year’s resolutions:

Where there is a will, there is a way. Here is a 4 step plan:

Step 1: Be realistic

Don’t make grand plans, make plans that seem very doable to you.
Start planning now if you haven’t already. Don’t wait until December 31st to outline your resolution. Planning needs time.

Step 2: Break the resolution into a weekly schedule

What has to happen every week for you to keep your resolutions? How many hours do you have to commit? Is it realistic? (see point 1)
Write your plans down and keep them where you can see them. I use a combination of Notion and Evernote (no affiliation). Both are incredibly powerful tools for taking notes and making plans!

Step 3: Track your progress

Create a spreadsheet. I usually use Google spreadsheets or a Notion spreadsheet template for this. Both can be easily accessed on your phone, so that you can mark your task down as ‘done’ as soon as you do it.
Have a serious discussion with yourself

There is a certain level of commitment that is required to get things done in our friction-filled world. Think through how much you really want to accomplish your New Year’s resolution. Is it really important to you? It should be important enough where you feel like the time you put in is going to be well spent.
Identify if there is anyone you know who can help you with your New Year’s resolution. Can a friend help you keep consistent? Can someone serve as a mentor in helping you get started? Don’t ask them to be a mentor (that sounds like a big time commitment to most people and I am betting that is not how most mentorships are really formed). Instead, tell them you have some questions about what they do because you are considering it as well, and invite them for a cup of coffee to discuss.

Step 4: Minimize missing what you must be doing

Track your progress daily, when you miss completing what you planned, get back on track as soon as possible. This is super important, do not delay. Get back on track the next day if you can.

What is worse than not setting resolutions? Setting the and not getting them done. Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful way to improve your life, but it requires planning, commitment, and accountability. Be realistic, break your goals down into smaller steps, track your progress!

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