Make your New Year’s resolution last for the long term by making it a habit.
The New Year is about new beginnings, a new year, a new calendar, and new goals. While nearly all of us start the new year with a New Year’s resolution, only some will succeed in making it a habit.
If you feel down on yourself because you have been unsuccessful in transitioning a new year’s resolution into a habit, don’t feel bad because failure is the rule rather than the exception. For evidence that most people fail with their new year’s resolutions, one needs to look no further than the gym.
If you have consistently gone to the gym for an extended period, you will be able to relate. I have noticed over the years that the busiest time of the year at gyms is January, specifically the first two weeks of January. This has been the case at five different gyms over 22 years. By the third and fourth weeks, the crowds start thinning, returning to normal by the middle to end of February.
Succeeding with a new year’s resolution takes work. However, having a process or framework to turn your resolution into a habit will significantly increase your chances of success.
What is a habit?
A habit is a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior. A second definition is an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. In other words, actions become habits through repetition until you do them automatically.
How to make your New Year’s Resolution a habit?
It would help if you made it a habit to succeed with your New Year’s resolution. There are some actions you can take, specifically:
Make specific achievable goals:
Rather than making broad, vague resolutions like “exercise more,” set specific, achievable goals such as “go for a 20-minute walk every day” or “go to the gym three times a week.” Some may need to start with something even more manageable, working up from there. Whatever the goal or resolution, it should be specific.
Write down your goals:
Research has shown that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. Documenting New Year’s resolutions can be done publicly or privately. If opting to remain private, you could use a journal or goal tracker to keep things on track. If opting to go “public,” you can add “post-it” notes throughout your house or workplace where family members and co-workers can see them. For some, sharing their New Year’s resolutions gives them added incentive to see their goals through. However, failing to meet your goals or resolutions may present you in a “less than favorable” light to that have been monitoring your progress.
Create a plan:
Determine your specific actions to achieve your goals and make a schedule or plan to follow. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out document. It can be a single-page document. However, it should include specific actions and timeframes for completing those actions. Your plan can outline some of your activities for the year in detail. You can start with just two or three months. However, it would help if you listed out within your plan when the timeline for subsequent months will be detailed. An example of a plan for increasing your exercise is to list what activities you will engage in, for how long, and the time you will complete your tasks. Making time to define a goal increases the chances of achieving it.
Track your progress:
A way to track your progress is essential to developing your New Year’s resolution into a habit. Tracking your progress keeps you accountable. Additionally, success is a great motivator. Seeing your success on paper can be a powerful motivator to keep going and not stop. A system to track your progress can be the second part of your plan outlining how you intend to reach your New Year’s resolution. Keeping everything about your New Year’s resolution increases the efficiency of tracking your project, increasing your chances of success. In addition to making your New Year’s resolution a habit, consider managing it as a project using project management processes and techniques, as it can significantly increase the likelihood of meeting your goals.
Celebrate your accomplishments:
Celebrating your accomplishments privately and publicly can go a long way in motivating you to continue working towards your goals. However, for many people, the sense of accomplishment outweighs many rewards. If you have a family, spouse, or ‘significant other’, include them in your celebration it you are investing quality time with someone you care about.
Don’t be too hard on yourself:
It’s important to be consistent, but also realistic and flexible. If you miss a day or don’t meet your goal, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, focus on getting back on track and moving forward. When you fail, turn your failure into a success by reflecting on what brought it about and making changes to minimize the chances of repeating your failure. After all, we learn more from our failures than our successes. Make sure you don’t miss out on your opportunity to better yourself.
Wrapping up how to succeed with your New Year’s resolution
When you succeed with your New Year’s resolution, you realize several benefits. First, you develop a new habit that enriches your life. Secondly, you learn how to reach your goals, which is a skill that is transferrable to many other areas of your life, such as your relationships, or running your business. As a result, the benefits you gain from reaching your goals will outweigh the cost, sacrifice and discomfort of doing something hard.
We hope that this has been helpful. We stand by to help you in other areas of your life and business, such as with providing you with capital to grow your business with working capital financingWorking Capital Financing, merchant cash advances, and new equipment financing.
Call us at (800) 795-3919 or contact us today to discuss your business financing needs.