I’ve avoided making new year resolutions for a few years. That’s right - avoided.
I was afraid to fail.
According to the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, I’m not the only one. Their study reveals that 45% of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% keep them.
I refuse to be in the 8%.
I’ve been working with an amazing life coach for 2 years now and keeping promises is no longer a problem - however, it’s still a challenge. Below are 5 steps that help me keep my new year resolutions:
#1: Write them down.
In the process of writing your intentions, you’ll become really clear on what they are. Sometimes we have an idea but until it’s formulated in words, that idea isn’t clear enough to follow through on. We need clear instruction and clear intention to commit to.
You’ll also be devoting the first amount of time to your resolutions as you write them. This alone is building your dedication to keep them.
#2: Define what they look and feel like.
This is huge. Take your intention and expand on it by defining how it changes your life. For example, if your intention is to work out more, organize your calendar so you know exactly what and when “more” is. If your intention is to listen clearly to others, when they’re done speaking repeat back to them. It could be as simple as “so you’re feeling like [insert what you heard here].”
Then write out how it’ll feel to keep your resolutions: “I feel more confident and healthy” or “I feel more sensitive to others needs and my relationships are deepening.” In writing out how it feels to have these new resolutions as part of your life, you’ll discover the why you want to keep them in the first place!
#3: Make a routine out of it.
Routine is grounding and easier to keep than sporadic thoughts of “I should be doing _______.”
If your resolutions don’t seem like something you can make a physical routine out of, call yourself on bullshit (then thank yourself for such a
good lame excuse). It’s totally possible, you may just need to be a little creative.
#4: Tell your family and friends.
Go public with your resolutions. Get people to call you on your excuses and help you keep your intentions. Otherwise, they may be helping you make excuses not to keep them. If you tell them sincerely, they’ll be more than happy to help you (really! who doesn’t love to help those you care about?!).
The practice of keeping your intentions is the same as keeping promises to yourself. It’s a practice of self respect. Self respect is spiritual.
It’s a practice that will ask the old you to step aside, and the new you to come in. Change may not be easy, but change is the essence of possibility.
Why go another day missing something that you really want to be doing?