Inc. recently reported that more than 40% of Americans set a New Year’s resolution, but only about 9% of those people actually keep their resolutions. Most of them give up on their goals within three weeks or less.
No matter what your goals are for the year, you may find that you’re among the people already struggling to stay on course, but you don’t have to be a part of the 91% of people who don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions.
Instead, here are some simple strategies you can use for success.
Why Won’t Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick?
You likely didn’t pick a New Year’s resolution that was going to harm you or those around you. You picked one that was going to change your life for the better, such as setting a goal to improve your sleep or cut back on alcohol.
So, knowing that, why can’t you just follow through on it?
There are a few reasons why you might be failing at your New Year’s resolutions. Let’s look into six common obstacles that prevent many of us from keeping those resolutions:
Having no accountability
Maybe you didn’t make a plan to hold yourself accountable to your goals. Perhaps you didn’t tell anyone about your goals or you failed to use a habit-tracker app that would nudge you toward better habits — in other words, maybe you failed to establish consequences for yourself.
Not having a documented plan
After a few weeks of trying to reach a goal that you’ve never set in writing, you’re bound to get off course. In order to successfully stick to your goal and see the benefits, you need a documented, well-written plan as to how you’ll do so. You wouldn’t start a business without a business plan and expect it to succeed; why would you expect to succeed at a goal without a similar plan?
Being too vague
If you have a clear and specific written plan, you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals. For example, you shouldn’t just set a goal of being “more active” in 2023. You’ll want to get specific with how often you’ll work out each week, the type of workout you’ll do, etc.
Relying on willpower alone
Willpower is important — but it wanes. Just like a muscle, your motivation can become stronger as well as fatigued. This limitation is why it’s crucial to not rely on willpower alone for success. Be sure to focus on discipline and consistency through repetition.
When you get distracted from your goals, you’re much more likely to not follow through on them. Since distractions are all around us, the key to success is to stay laser-focused on your goals and not get caught up in distractions.
Lack of priorities
It’s simple. If you want to complete your New Year’s resolutions, you have to make them a top priority.
5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
So, how can you ensure that you don’t fall prey to any of the above goal-setting pitfalls? Here are five effective tips to keep those resolutions, no matter what time of year.
1. Start small
You’ll have greater success if you begin with small, attainable goals, rather than with gargantuan ones. It’s easier to be more specific if you’re dealing with manageable goals. For example, aim to walk 10,000 steps per day, rather than run a marathon at the end of the month. Starting small also makes it easier to follow through and remain consistent, so you don’t burn out or get deflated.
2. Set SMART goals
You’ve likely heard of the SMART goals theory, but essentially “SMART” goals are easier to keep because they are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Make sure you follow these principles when creating and setting goals.
3. Have a plan
Of course, the easiest way to ensure you don’t fall into the mistake of going into your New Year’s resolution without a plan is to simply make one. Write it down! It may be mid-January but it’s not too late to get started!
4. Find an accountability partner
5. Track your progress
Whether you use a habit tracking app (such as our Arootah Habit Accountability Tracker) or a pen and paper, keeping track of your progress — from days exercised to books read — is key to helping you gauge how well you’re doing with your goals, and whether you need to make any adjustments.
The Bottom Line
If you’re struggling to keep your goals for 2023 (or any time of year), you’re not alone. But you don’t have to be a part of the majority of people who don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions. By following these simple strategies, you can get back up on the horse and ensure you achieve your goals.
Need more support with sticking to your goals or setting the ones that matter most to you? Gain clarity and accountability by scheduling a no-obligation call with an Arootah coach today.