Already given up on your New Year’s resolutions? Don’t be too hard on yourself. According to research, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is about 80% and most people have given up or forgotten about them by the middle of February. A study by Strava using 800 million user activities in 2019 shows that 19 January is the day people are most likely to abandon them. 

 Such a high failure rate would suggest that resolutions are not so important.  However, when the top three pledges made focus on health, diet and finance, this is clearly not the case.  

 The Oxford dictionary definition of a resolution is ‘a firm decision to do or not do something’. But making a decision is not the same as taking action.  It is like deciding to go on holiday but not booking anything!  

 Making a resolution or a decision to do (or not do) something is only the first step to achieving goals. If that’s all we do, there’s no wonder resolutions fail! If we have been doing (or not doing) something for a long time, we need to take positive action to change our habits and mindsets to facilitate any change.    

So, is it too late to decide to make a change this year?  The good news is that whilst 1 January is the date most resolutions are made, there’s nothing stopping you making or redesigning resolutions (or decisions) any time you wish!   

 If you think “why bother, when I will only fail again” think again. Failure is a good thing! We now know what didn’t work so we can avoid falling into that trap again. We also know that you can’t just make a resolution – you also need to take action.

1. Clearly define your goals –   

Ok, you want to stop or start doing something… but WHY?   

Clearly identify why making a change or doing something new is important to you, make a plan of how you are going to achieve it and what actions you must take to be successful.  Think about what success will look like, feel like or sound like.   

Is it a START or a STOP goal you want to achieve?  

Think about the type of resolution you are setting. Is it a ‘start goal’ or a ‘stop goal’?  i.e. Are you aiming to start eating healthily or stop eating junk food? Research shows that men achieve stop goals more easily and women find start goals easier to achieve. Reframe your goal so it works for you.  

2. Make your goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.    

Instead of saying you are going to save money this year, set yourself an achievable target, broken down month by month.   

As well as knowing what you want to achieve, break your goals down into small chunks. Instead of aiming to lose 2 stones by 1 July, redefine it to be fitter and healthier and set yourself weekly targets/goals.  Give yourself rewards on the way for achieving those smaller goals.  

3. Before you set your resolution, think about what motivates you.

We all have 9 different drivers of our intrinsic motivation (or in other words our needs):   

– Security and stability  Recognition  

– Meaningful relationships  

– Being in charge  

– Earning and competition  

– Learning and development  

– Creativity & Problem solving  

– Freedom and Independence  

– Making a difference  

 If you value freedom and independence, and you want to lose weight or get fit, joining a regular exercise class is unlikely to be as motivating to you as being able to plan your own time for exercise. If you enjoy making a difference, you may want to raise money for a local charity by losing weight or getting fit. If you are competitive, set yourself targets.   

 Understanding what motivates you is the key.  Use your knowledge of what motivates you to support you to achieve your goals.  

4. Share your resolutions   

If you make your goals known to those around you it makes it much easier to achieve them.  

5. Change your environment  

We can’t break bad habits. The key is to replace them with new ones.  If you want to start going for a walk every morning, lay your walking gear out before you go to bed and think about the start of that walk as you go to sleep.  If you want to reduce your expenditure on coffee, walk a different route to walk so you don’t go past your favourite coffee shop. If you want to stop snacking, make sure there are no snacks (or only healthy ones) available.  Don’t just rely on your will power. As we know, we only have a certain amount of will power each day.   

Just because you have already given up on your New Year’s resolutions, you don’t have to wait until 31 December 2022 to set new ones!  Reboot and reframe your resolutions and make 2022 the year you achieve your goals.  

For help to achieve your goals in 2022, contact us to book a free 20 minute coaching discovery call