Resolutions Worth Sticking To
Every new year brings with it a sense of possibility. A fresh start. There’s hope for a better year than the one you had before. Your goals and dreams feel closer.
Starting your year with a New Year’s Resolution helps to turn those dreams into reality.
And after 2022, we could all use a little help achieving our goals. Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2022 was goblin mode. “Goblin mode” – a slang term, often used in the expressions “in goblin mode” or “to go goblin mode” – is ‘a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
Personally, we think that’s more of a phrase – but for many people, goblin mode was the overall vibe of 2022. We hope 2023 is less goblin mode and more Beyonce mode.
Why Don’t More People Stick to Their Resolutions?
We’re pretty sure most people didn’t write in their journals, “My 2022 resolution is to live in goblin mode.” In fact, most people resolve to:
- Save more money
- Get in shape
- Read more
- Learn a skill or hobby
- Quit smoking
But even with these great intentions, few people realized these goals.
Although there isn’t much research out there, one 1989 study showed that only about 8% of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions. But even if only a small percentage of people actually do what they set out to do at the beginning of the year, what’s the harm in trying? Even if you only stick to your goal through March, isn’t it better that you spent that time working on yourself?
So, why don’t more people follow through with their resolutions?
- Their goals aren’t realistic. They have good intentions but they aren’t based in reality. You physically can’t go from no activity to running a marathon overnight.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- They don’t create action steps to realize their goals. And without a solid plan, the initial spark fades and they fall back into old habits.
- They give up too easily after setbacks.
The New Year brings with it new motivation and inspiration to live your healthiest, happiest life. So why not capitalize on this energy and use it to move towards your goals?
Resolutions Worth Setting
If you haven’t already chosen your 2023 resolution, here are some resolutions to consider:
- Eat better.
- Move more.
- Start a breathwork practice.
- Start a meditation practice.
- Start a cold exposure practice.
- Sleep 8 hours a night.
- Run a 5k (or 10k, or marathon!)
- Spend X hours each week doing something FUN.
- Spend more time outdoors.
- Drink more water.
You know yourself. Take some time to reflect back on 2022 and the way you feel right now about your life. What goal or dream would you love to realize? If your heart is in it, you know you’re starting from the right place.
How to Actually Follow Through with Your Resolutions
- Start where you are.
- Be realistic with where you are now – Point A. If your goal is to get a six-pack by March and you don’t already have visible abdominal lines, you may want to consider the six-pack goal as a 5-year goal instead of a one-year resolution. Set goals that you can truly achieve and set mini goals for yourself so you can celebrate the little victories along the way. You may also want to consider why you want that six-pack. What does it symbolize for you? You may realize that the superficial goal of a six-pack is more about wanting acceptance or to feel strong, then shift the resolution to reflect your true desire.
- Know your “why”.
- Resolutions are goals. But the “why” behind the goal is even more important than the goal itself. Why do you want to exercise more? To get in shape? Why? To look good naked? Why? There’s always a deeper reason that we want things. And if you get clear on your true desire and stay focused on that deeper wish, your initial motivation won’t fade. Journal on your why and set calendar dates to read back on what you initially journaled. Add to it whenever you feel inspired to. Chasing superficial goals is exhausting and will wear you out or lose your interest quickly.
- Be ambitious, but authentic.
- You know yourself better than anyone. Consider who you are, not who you hope to be when setting your goals. If your goal is to meditate for an hour every day but you struggle to sit still for five minutes, start with something realistic. Set a goal of meditating for 5 minutes per day for the first month, then increase by 5 minutes each month so that by December 2023 you’ll be at your goal of an hour a day.
- Create an action plan.
- This goes hand in hand with the above. No matter what your goal is, break into smaller chunks. If your goal is to buy a house in 2023, decide how much you need to put down first. Then create a budget that is doable. Look at your finances often to ensure that you’re on track.
- No matter what the goal is, make sure the entire plan is written out and stick to it. Place reminders everywhere you’ll see them, like your phone background, post-it notes on your mirror and fridge, on your calendar.
- Part of your action plan should include some time for rest or cheat days. Few people can stay consistent 365 days of the year, and few want to. Cheat/rest days are necessary for fitness goals, diets, and for sanity’s sake.
- Small daily steps.
- Every good plan includes things you’ll do monthly, weekly, and daily. The small daily steps you take are the MOST important. Keep track of these daily action steps in your planner, on your phone, a journal, or wherever you know you’ll actually remember to look.
- Use the buddy system.
- Humans are social creatures. We do everything better together. Whether you find a friend to work out with, a partner to stay on top of finances with, or an online group to check in with for accountability, we get things done when we do them together.
- Remember that setbacks do NOT equal failure.
- You’re a human being, not a robot – and even robots make mistakes! Life happens. If you miss a few days – or even a month – do not quit. Get back into your routine as quickly as possible. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Do your best to not let little setbacks affect the way you see yourself. A setback is not a failure, and neither are you.
Your goals are worth it. Whether 2022 was your best year or you lived it in goblin mode, 2023 can be the start of something amazing. New year, same you, different plan, different future.