January is the perfect time to reflect on our lives and set goals and new year’s resolutions.
A new year is often perceived as the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start in life. Many of us kickstart the year full of energy and motivation, ready to change our lives for good.
But very few people actually make it happen. Because life gets in the way and motivation quickly fades away.
If you struggle to keep up with your new year’s resolutions and usually fall short of your goals, don’t worry; simple tips can help you stay focused and actually achieve your goals this year.
This post will give you 11 actionable tips to make any new year’s resolution stick.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
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Write down your goals
The place to start if you want to achieve your goals and get some serious work done this year is to write all your goals down.
This step will help you get clarity on what you are trying to achieve and, more importantly, how you plan to get there.
Change won’t happen overnight.
To make it happen, you will need to implement a strategy. And to do so, you need to have a crystal clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish.
To ensure you make your new year’s resolutions stick, write down each and every goal you have set for the year to come and how this goal will change your life.
The more precise you are, the better.
Every detail you write down will help you envision the new life you will create for yourself if you commit to your goals.
Put yourself first
Now, this advice might seem selfish at first but hear me out.
The main reason people end up trapped in a life they don’t love is that they spend years going with the flow and just being all over the place.
Living day by day without a plan is the best way to let life pass you by. And this is how you suddenly wake up one day, trapped in someone else’s life.
The resolutions you have set for yourself represent your hopes for a better life. And the only way to make them come true is to focus all your energy on achieving your goals.
This will imply putting yourself first and saying “No” more often.
And it’s perfectly fine.
When people feel lost in life, they tend to keep themselves busy to avoid having to face the cold hard truth and making hard decisions.
As you can imagine, this behavior won’t get you anywhere.
Recentering on yourself and getting clear about your wants and needs is the only way to create the life you deserve.
Creating routines to support your new year’s resolutions is an amazing way to plan ahead and ensure you work on your goals daily.
I personally love routines because they help me structure my days and get organized.
It took me +20 years to implement my first morning routine, but I can no longer go one day without following it.
Sticking to a routine will help you boost your self-discipline and be more consistent.
If you struggle to make your resolutions stick, create a new routine including small habits supporting them.
Your routine doesn’t need to last 2 hours to be effective.
Thi is especially true if you have been trying to implement a habit to no avail for a long time already.
Try to create a 2-minute version of the same habit instead.
If you want to write a book but struggle to sit at your desk and type, commit to 2 minutes of writing daily.
Getting started is the hardest part of the process. Don’t wait until the motivation finds you to get started.
Sit at your desk, start typing, and the next thing you know, you’ve finished your first chapter.
Related reads: 8 things to do before 8 am for a productive day
Track your new habits
The following points on this list are all about finding sources of inspiration.
And a simple way to stay inspired and motivated to stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals is to track your habits and progress.
Tracking your habits will help you ensure you stick to them.
And if you fail to actually follow them regularly, using a habit tracker will help you rethink your schedule and find the perfect time for your new habits.
If you plan to work out after work but realize that you regularly skip your habit, rescheduling it at a more suitable time of the day will help you stick to it and progress faster.
Using a habit tracker is a great opportunity to rethink your daily schedule and routines for productivity.
Plus, tracking your habits and not breaking the chain will quickly become another strong motivation.
Create a vision board
Have you ever created a vision board?
If not, you’re missing out on a simple but effective way to stay focused on your goals.
Creating a vision board and looking at it several times per day can help you recenter on your goals when you feel like giving up.
You can, of course, create an old-fashioned vision board with a piece of cardboard, glue, and pictures, but you can also do it digitally using tools like Canva.
And this is my favorite way to do it. Because I can then set my vision board as wallpaper on my phone and laptop.
At the moment of writing this post, here is my vision board and current wallpaper:
By looking at it, you can guess what my resolutions for 2023 are: working out more, getting fit, focusing on self-care, and eating healthier.
I have created a similar version of this vision board with different dimensions to set as wallpaper on my laptop.
So every time I take my phone or close an app on my laptop, I see it. And there is no better way to keep your goals in mind that seeing your vision board a trillion times a day.
Listen to a podcast
Listening to a podcast is another great way to make your new year’s resolutions stick.
I started listening to podcasts during the pandemic because I had to work from home and couldn’t stand working in complete silence.
Music was way too distracting, so I started to listen to podcasts and quickly realized how powerful a motivating podcast can be.
Podcasts can help you stay positive, motivated and do some serious inner work.
And the best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while doing anything and everything. This is what makes this small habit so powerful.
Inspiring podcasts and upbeat music are great ways to get motivated and rewire your brain for success.
If you are looking for a new podcast to inspire you to stick to your new year’s resolutions, here are 5 highly motivating podcasts:
- Ten percent happier with Dan Harris
- Happier with Gretchen Rubin
- The Lavendaire Lifestyle by Lavendaire
- Design your dream life with Natalie Bacon
- The Tony Robbins Podcast by Tony Robbins
Read an inspiring book
Reading books is another way to get inspired to change your life and stay motivated to achieve goals.
Personal growth books can give us the energy and inspiration it takes to move mountains.
But reading has many other benefits.
Reading for at least 20 minutes daily will also considerably improve your health. Indeed, researchers found that reading regularly positively impacts our mental and physical health.
Reading daily will, for instance, help you:
- Reduce stress
- Fight anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Control depression
If you are looking for great self-help and personal growth books to read, I’ve gathered all my favorite books on my Shop My Favorites page.
Plan your rewards
Since your new year’s resolutions support very specific goals, you should be able to define milestones and deadlines to motivate you during your journey.
Success is made of many small steps and small wins. Defining milestones will help you track your progress while keeping an eye on your end goal.
Defining milestones is also key to ensuring you make progress toward your goals.
If you fail to achieve a milestone, you will be able to reassess your plans and quickly get back on track.
Defining milestones and a reward for each of them will give you something additional to look forward to.
And this will be highly motivating when you don’t feel like sticking to your plans.
Let’s say you want to lose weight, exercise more, and eat healthier.
If your end goal is to lose 20 lbs in 4 months, you can define the following small goals/ milestones:
- Lose 5 lbs by January 31st
- Lose 5 lbs by February 28th
- Lose 5 lbs by March 31st
- Lose 5 lbs by April 30th
Planning rewards for each of these milestones will help you keep going even when you don’t feel like it.
You can, for instance, plan the following rewards:
- Organize a girls’ night out
- Get a new haircut
- Schedule a spa day
- Redo your wardrobe
These small rewards will be just another source of motivation to stick to your new habits and achieve your goals.
Talk about your new year’s resolutions
Talking about your resolutions and goals with your surroundings will help you stay committed to them.
People will likely ask you how things are going and cheer you up when feeling down.
Finding support from friends and family is important when you’re trying to change your life.
Because making habits stick is hard. You will be required to operate significant mindset shifts to achieve your goals, and doing so will not go unnoticed.
You will have to redefine your priorities in life and change your habits and routines.
And getting clear about it will make it easier for you to say “no” whenever you are requested to do something that goes against your goals.
Finding a friend with the same goals and working on them together will considerably increase your chances of success.
But if you can’t find an accountability partner among your friends and family, don’t worry.
This is where online communities come in handy.
Join an online community
Joining a community with the same goals will considerably increase your chances of achieving them.
It can be hard to find support in the “real world”.
Not everyone will understand what you are trying to achieve, and it’s ok.
But achieving your goals will be hard if there is no one to support you when you feel like giving up.
This is why joining support groups on the internet can be so empowering when it comes to achieving goals.
If you want to succeed this year, join an online community sharing the same goals.
Finding support groups online is particularly important when you don’t feel supported by your loved ones.
Connecting with people worldwide who are making progress despite facing the same struggles will help you stay committed to your goals.
Journal to focus your energy and attention
Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts and get things out of your head. Which is particularly important when you are trying to change your life.
Getting clear on your feelings and past failures is key to moving on.
You will not be able to make a fresh start in life if you don’t resolve internal conflicts, forgive yourself for your past failures, and allow yourself to move on from them.
Getting these negative feelings on paper will help you get them out of your head and let them go.
Which will allow you to replace them with positive thinking.
Journaling is definitely a great way to track and improve your mood.
When having a bad day, take a few minutes to write down everything you are grateful for. This simple habit will shift your perspective and help you be more positive.
Journaling daily will help you focus on gratitude which will considerably improve your mental health as well.
If you want to change your life this year, no matter the goals you have set for yourself, give journaling a try. Your future self will thank you.
Staying committed to your goals can be hard, especially if you have already failed to achieve them several times in the past.
No matter what you are trying to accomplish this year, the tips on this list will help you focus your energy on your new year’s resolutions and make things happen.
The key to achieving your goals and changing your life is to find and cultivate little sources of inspiration and motivation daily.
Your life could be totally different a few months from now! All you need to do is stick to your plans and make it one day at a time.