productivity tips · Jan 12, 2022

How not to Fail at Your New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

The new year is a fresh start to let go of the past and to begin to pursue your greatest dreams for yourself.

Make 2022 a year to remember by following these simple tips to help you not fail at your New Year’s Resolutions.

Why are we saying not fail, rather than how to achieve? It’s easy to set goals and say “I’m going to achieve [insert resolution here]” but actually sticking to it is difficult. So, in this article we are going to look at tips and tricks that will help you take your resolutions and see them through until completion.

10 ways to not fail at your New Year's resolutions

Here are 10 ways to not fail at your New Year's resolutions.

1. Frame your resolution in a positive way

When we frame things positively, it not only feels better but it helps us stay motivated. Take for example two men who have been sedentary lately and want to exercise more. The first man says “I need to stop being so lazy and get off my ass more at work” while the second one says “I need to get up and move around more during the day”.

Both men want the same thing but the second one is less likely to fail because he’s focusing on a positive outcome instead of a negative problem. When we focus on solutions we give ourselves hope that change is possible and this feeling can last much longer than if we think there's no way out.

2. Make a plan

One big mistake people make when they try to achieve something in life is thinking it will happen overnight, which leads them to failure later when reality doesn't match their fantasy. To ensure your resolutions last all year you have to be realistic about how long things take so you're not in a hurry when trying to accomplish things in life. Planning is also key in keeping your resolutions. If you want to eat healthier you need to make a plan of all the things you will do in order to succeed at it, for example:

  • Find 4 healthy recipes and make a list of ingredients I’ll need from the grocery store.

  • Make sure I have enough time between when I get home from work and going to bed to cook dinner.

  • I will start cooking dinner earlier on Sunday afternoons so there's food ready for during the week.

The more detailed your plans are, the less room there is for failure because it makes everything easier to control and keeps you accountable. One common mistake people often fail at is not planning ahead so they over-commit and don't have time to focus on what's important.

3. Make a To-Do List

The first step to achieving anything is to break it down into manageable chunks so that you will feel ready to take on any hurdle along the way, no matter how daunting a task may seem. A to-do list with clear goals (short and long terms) can help keep you focused and work towards reaching those goals as well as making sure that nothing gets lost in our to-do lists.

Read more on the power of setting short-term goals

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

A to-do list is helpful to keep yourself accountable to your goals and to manage your time effectively.

However, you must check it often to make sure that everything on the list has been ticked off and anything not completed has been prioritized and moved to another day or week or month as needed.

It’s also a good idea to shorten long lists into smaller chunks; this way it should be much easier to complete your whole to-do list without feeling overwhelmed by how much there still is to do. After all, this can be even more demoralizing than having no goals or tasks at all on a too long to-do list!

Another thing to do is: keep your to-do list to 5 items or less to not become overwhelmed, and to give yourself a realistic goal to achieve each day. If you need to, prioritize tasks by how important they are to meeting overall goals and dreams.

This will help to make sure that no matter what you always mark at least one task as complete each day this way you will never fail to check something off of your to-done list for the day.

5. Set Specific Goals to Achieve Your Dreams

It’s really easy to write a to-do list, but to find out how to turn your to-do list into to-done takes some more effort.

Goals need to be set in order to achieve dreams, so start small and work your way up. For example, if your goal is to work-out more often at the gym, you might want to start by targeting 3 times a week.

Once you have kept yourself accountable for the first few weeks with this goal and it is becoming part of your routine then you can aim higher to 5 times a week. And this will further help you achieve your overall dream in being in shape.

6. Make your plans measurable

To know if you're succeeding or failing at something it needs to be measurable, for example: “I will run 3 miles this week” or “I will work-out 7 times a week”. The more specific you are about the goal the better because it makes it easier for your brain to measure progress against expectations. This is one reason why many diets fail in people who try to lose weight, because they say they want to eat less junk food but there's no way for them to measure how much a "serving" is or if they ate junk food that one day so it becomes hard for their brains to know if they're succeeding or failing.

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7. Make sure they’re enjoyable

When something is fun it keeps us motivated, even if we make mistakes along the road to success because we want to keep doing it out of enjoyment for what we're doing. It also keeps you accountable since you know other people will see what you did and judge you on your actions (in a good way). For example: “I will take my dog out for a walk during work hours twice this week” or “I will stop by the gym after work one day this week so I can workout with my friends from there”.

8. Mix the fun with the necessary

In order to ensure your resolutions have longevity, mix the fun with the necessary. This way you will have balance in your life and not feel like you're denying yourself something because it's hard or boring to do. A great example of this is eating healthy food, which can be both fun for some people since they love cooking but also necessary if their goal is to lose weight. Mixing these two together makes it much easier to succeed.

9. Find Support in Friends

Even when setting specific goals or creating a clear to-do list, you need to make sure to surround yourself with friends who support your dreams. This is important to keep you encouraged to achieve your goals and to be held accountable when necessary.

Remember to ask for help when you need to, most people are more than happy to give their advice and guidance to someone they know who is trying to achieve something they want. Plus, it is always good to have a second opinion about what goals to set yourself how to achieve them without getting too overwhelmed.

10. Embrace the Practice of Failure

What good is a to-do list without some practical failure?

Failure isn’t always a bad thing and often times it can lead to success in the right mindset. Failing time after time at something is the only way to get better at doing that task or achieving that goal so consider failure as a step towards success rather than a messy outcome.

However, there is a difference between embracing failure, and failing to plan.

Planning to fail is just as bad as actually failing. If you have a to-do list written out with no specific goal or direction it won’t take long before your motivation to continue your new year resolutions falters and so will the success of those resolutions.

Make each to-do list item specifically geared towards achieving a long term or short-term goal for an actionable step toward maintaining your new year’s resolution.

Give yourself every chance of success

With these 10 tips, you can give yourself the best chance of success with your New Year's resolutions. Creating a plan, build a to-do list, set clearly defined short- and long-term goals, be positive, and get support.

There are plenty of options available to help you create clear, simple to-do lists that can be put into a timeline that will help you pace yourself, and give you every chance of success.

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