8 Surefire Steps to To Turn Your New Year's Resolutions to Reality...Really
Updated: Feb 4
A quick note, for the sake of simplicity, in this article, we're going to treat resolutions and goals as one in the same. Please stay tuned for my next blog post--How to Make 2020 Your Best Year Yet--where we're going to distinguish resolutions from goals.
Happy New Year! It's a new year and a new decade and there's much to celebrate! First, before we jump into our resolutions, let us celebrate ourselves and each other! You rock! Here's a virtual toast to you!
And of course...
Alrighty, now that we've gotten that out of the way... ;-) let's get started with your resolutions for 2020!
Resolutions can be a hit or miss, but this year is going to be different.
In this article, we're going to look at eight surefire ways to keep your resolutions and make 2020 the year you achieve all of your resolutions.
With that in mind, let's jump in.
1| Keep It Simple
Keeping the articulation of your resolutions simple is the best way to facilitate recall and keep them top-of-mind. This will be a two-step process.
Start by writing down your goals for the year without filtering. Just free-write and put everything on paper that comes to mind about what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Once you’ve written down your first resolution as a complete thought, run through it again and strip it down to the simplest phrase that encapsulates and captures that individual goal. Ideally, you want to arrive at one sentence or even better, phrase, with as few words as possible without compromising the meaning or intent. If necessary, you can split one long sentence into two.
For example, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose 15 pounds by working out three times a week and eating healthy. You can split that up into three different resolutions.
Lose 15 pounds by August 30th
Eat a healthy plant-based diet
Workout at least three times a week
Makes a different doesn’t it? :-) This simplicity and clarity will be instrumental in #6 below.
Repeat the process for each of your resolutions.
2 | Write Them in Your Planner or Journal
There are tons of planners and journals out there that can help make the process easier.
They have a section for your goals for the year which you can track by month. They also include pages
for a vision board which I found fun and is a fantastic and handy way to support your visualization habit
Another fantastic planner is the Freedom Journal. It has 4.5 stars in its over 429 reviews on Amazon. I've used this journal as well and what I love about it is that it has a structure for you to accomplish a specific goal in 100 days. They have great support and tools (See #3 below) that you gain access to when you get the journal, including access to their Facebook group so you can interact and engage with other folks looking to offer support and guidance, the audiobook, the mobile app, and the fillable PDF version free.
I like using color felt tip pens in my paper journals and tried these, which were very highly rated with thousands of reviews.
However, while they were great at first, a few of the tips went a bit wonky on me pretty quickly. See pic. If you have suggestions for better pens or have used these without an issue, let me know!
3 | Set Up A Structure For Your Success
Set yourself up for success by creating support structures that will help you achieve your goals. These structures can come in a variety of forms and a combination of different formats can be very helpful.
For example, if we take our earlier resolution of losing 15 pounds by August 30th, you could set up several different structures that will help you achieve that objective from a variety of different angles. For example, you could:
Join a local weight loss group or sign up for WW, also known as Weight Watchers, which allows members to participate in a local group workshop, receive personal coaching, and a digital app, or a combination of either the workshop or personal coaching with the digital app. We’re an affiliate so we have a link with a discount (YAY!!) of 45% off WW Workshop plus Digital or save 42% from the digital app. Check the dates since it is a limited time offer.
What I love about WW is that they offer the three different formats mentioned above so you can choose what will support you in a manner that makes the most sense to you.
When I started with the program almost two years ago, I chose the digital app only while my best friend chose to participate in the local WW Workshop. I like the digital app because I can use it on my phone, which is always with me, and I’m just a digitally-focused person. I like being accountable to myself, freedom in choosing what I eat, and the efficiency of tracking what I eat with the app. My friend likes being a part of groups and being accountable to other people so participating in a local workshop was the best choice for her.
Two years later, I’ve kept the weight off with their points systems and the help of the app. In the entire two-year period since, I’ve only experienced a two to three occasional pound fluctuation while maintaining my average at my target weight. Personally, I love it but it has to work for you. Today, WW has further enhanced the program so that you can take a personal assessment and see what program they recommend for you.
There are other programs, of course. The idea is to create a support system that makes the most sense for you and your habits.
4 | Make it Fun
Making your endeavor fun and enjoying the journey increases your probability for success. If we take our working out three times a week resolution as an example, there are many ways you could make working out fun instead of a drag.
If you’re a runner or would like to incorporate running into your exercise plan, you could:
Join a local running group, take a running class, or send out an open invitation to friends to join you for a fun run at the park.
Create a fantastic playlist that will energize you during your run. You can download Amazon Prime Music for a great selection. I personally use Amazon Prime Music and I love it. I created two workout playlists and I look forward to my high-energy runs. You can start with their 30-day free trial here.
Listen to a super cheesy or heartwarming romance book with Audible Escape when you go out for your run or jump on the treadmill. You can try it for one month free here and its a great way to disconnect! However, be careful about running in the street when listening to books. I've noticed I tend to get very involved in the story and don't notice where I'm going. Since recognizing that, I only listen to stories on an easy run on the treadmill, on the stairs, or on a trail in the park without cars or bikes during the day.
Use your running time to indulge in personal development, a spy novel, or sci-fi thriller listening to a book with Audible. Although I prefer music during my runs, I use Audible to listen to books on the days that I go on walks instead of run. I alternate between running and walking days for my exercise routine. This has made a huge difference for me since I haven’t had much time to sit down and read a physical book lately. In another post, I’ll share with you my favorite books.
Other options to have fun exercising can be to join a Zumba class to dance/exercise the calories away, or participate in a cycling class or bicycling group, or grab your friends or partner and join a salsa class. The options are endless!
Now, how can you make your resolutions fun?
5 | Break it Down & Plan It
Put your resolutions into action by breaking them down, making a plan to achieve them, and scheduling it into your planner. For example,
If you’ve resolved to workout three times a week, what days of the week will you exercise? Put it in your planner.
If you’re eating healthier, you can select a day you are going to plan your menu for the week and schedule your grocery shopping so you have the right food at hand.
If you’ve resolved to travel, plan where you want to go and when. Then schedule in when you're going to do the research, talk to your travel agent, etc.
If your resolution is to lose 15 pounds, schedule the “by when” date in your planner.
6 | Daily Habits
For example, if you have chosen to workout three times a week, you could schedule in your major exercise routine for three days a week and alternate with a walk on the other four days so you are taking action no matter what and have created a habit of your resolution.
If there’s a day when you don't have time for a walk, take the stairs for the whole day, or walk around your office/floor/parking lot while on a call, etc. Get creative! The idea is to take daily action to keep your resolution top-of-mind and always moving forward no matter what.
One of the ways I’ve kept up my meditation habit is by scheduling it every day after dinner, but before my coffee. I eat dinner every day, so this makes it very easy to remember and because it’s a habit, it has become an automatic action. As I’m finishing dinner, I’m already thinking of my meditation time. Since I have coffee after dinner, the coffee becomes my anchor and a great way to move my mindset from “dinner” to “meditation”.
What daily habits can you set up for your resolutions?
7 | Visualize Having Achieved Each Resolution
Visualize yourself having already achieved your resolution. This is essential. You can do your visualization during your meditation session, in the morning before getting out of bed, while you’re warming up for your workout, while you’re having your morning coffee, or even on your elevator ride up to your office.
I do my visualizations during my meditations. I’ll have more on visualization during meditations in a later post.
8 | Believe in Yourself
Finally, the most important way to answer, “How can I keep my new year’s resolutions this year?” Believe in Yourself!
Make 2020 the year you believe in yourself. Believe you will achieve your resolutions and start planning now how you will celebrate your best year yet on December 31, 2019!
This article also appears in HappyMnd.
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