Many people make New Year’s resolutions. This is an awesome idea, but statistics show that those resolutions are given up by most people before the middle of January. In order to help you be your best self, I’d like to share with you some proven methods to make your resolutions stick in 2020!
Can you believe 2019 is gone! It seems to me like we were celebrating the start of 2019 a few days ago. But here we are, celebrating the start of 2020.
Not only is this a new year, but it’s also a new decade! It’s exciting to not only look back at the past decade but also look forward to the new decade before us!
Many people use the new year to make their best life possible. They think up 5-10 New Years’ resolutions and hit the ground running with them on January 1st. But by the end of January, most of these resolutions have been given up. And some have been forgotten altogether!
You can chalk up this failure to a lack of commitment, which might be true for some. But there are some distinct reasons why people can’t make their resolutions stick over the long haul.
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Making too Many Resolutions
A new year excites us! There are so many possibilities upon the horizon, and our brains instantly start thinking of ALL the things you can improve in your life. This is human nature.
But, YOU CAN’T DO ALL THE THINGS!!! There’s no way you can pick 10 different goals at the same time and be successful at any of them. It’s simply impossible.
My devotional this morning, written by Jim Daly, says it perfectly:
“Change, by nature, creates instability. When you’re able to limit the amount of change you take on at any one time, the instability can be controlled. But when you alter too many areas of your life at once, problems can rapidly overwhelm you.”
So, it’s best to pick 1-2 goals to focus on at a time. If you choose more than that, you are almost guaranteed failure with making your resolutions stick. Then, after you’ve reached your first goals, and check them off, then you can move on to improving another area of your life.
To begin this year, I’m focusing on my health first. I want to lose a few pounds, so having goals for a healthy diet and added exercise are two great resolutions to achieve this goal! I’d love to work on several goals at once, like be more organized, declutter the house, grow this blog, write a book, and so on. But since I can’t do everything at once, I’ve decided to choose the most important resolution and work on it first!
Write It Down to Make Your Resolutions Stick
I talk about this a lot, but a great way to make your resolutions stick is to write them down. There’s just something about putting it in writing that makes something seem more real and concrete. I guess that’s why contracts and legal documents are still put in writing.
There are several different ways you can do this. One way is to make a list of goals you want to achieve and highlight the 1-2 that is your current focus. Then, once you reach one of your goals, you can check it off as a success! After checking it off your list, you have the rest of your goals right in front of you, so it’s super easy to pick the next one and go for it!
Write it ALL down!!!
There’s also the SMART acronym for setting and achieving goals. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. You can use the template below (it’s free) or click this file to map out your goals using the SMART acronym.
Another way to write down your resolutions is to jot them down in a journal or planner. Ruth Soukup has an AMAZING Living Well Planner which includes specific pages where you write down your goals each month. It uses the CRUSH IT acronym to help you write out a plan for your goal.
Rachel Hollis of The Chic Site has several journals and planners available on her website. She’s also released a line of goal setting planners that can be found at Target (yes)! The Start Today 2020 Journal is an amazing tool for organizing your goals and your life.
The Daily Grace and Erin Condren also have some awesome planners and journals that can help make your resolutions stick in 2020! Be sure to check them all out to find something that works for you. The main thing is to write it down!!!20% Off 2020 Planners + Calendars (Focused Collection)
Review Your Past Successes
Sometime during your goal-achieving process, you’ll get a little discouraged. Things might not be happening as fast as you thought they would. Maybe it’s taking longer to lose the weight, so you’re behind on your milestones. Or maybe you’re training for a 5K, and then you get the flu a week before your race. Life tends to happen, whether we want it to or not, and some setbacks are unavoidable.
At these times, the going can get tough. When that happens, it can be easy to dwell on what’s going wrong in your life. But I want to encourage you to do the opposite. When life throws you a curveball, instead of dwelling in the misery of it, I want you to look back on your past achievements. Don’t just think about your successes, WRITE THEM DOWN!! Having a tangible list to go over will help you remain positive when you feel like giving up.
Give it to God
As a Christian, this is the most important step for me to make my resolutions stick in the coming year.
Each morning, I brew my coffee then sit down to spend some time with God. After reading a devotional and the corresponding bible passages, I take a few minutes to pray. I have a list in my planner with everyday prayers, as well as specific requests for each day of the week. I’ve made the resolution for better health in 2020, so I’ll need to add it to my list. Since this is a big goal for me, I’ll probably add it to my everyday list.
In the past, I have found myself much less successful when I don’t give all my goals and cares to God. I also end up extremely discouraged and overwhelmed.
This makes total sense. Not only are we unable to do all the things, but we were never meant to do any of it alone! So you must give your resolutions to God if you have any hope of making them stick.
Get Back Up and Try Again
This one is tough, but oh so important! Life is going to happen. It just is. And at times, it can be insanely difficult! It can be so difficult that you don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. Much less stick to your goals.
Let’s say you (along with your family) have a goal of getting your finances in order. That’s awesome! You’ve made a budget and are tracking your spending like a boss for a few months.Christian Strong
Then summer gets here, and all that money you’re saving is burning a hole in your pocket (or bank account). You start going out to eat once a week, instead of once a month. And then maybe you treat yourself to a new appliance or a new outfit because “you deserve it”!
Before you know it, your carefully crafted budget has flown out the window! You get mad at yourself and wonder if there’s even a point in making a budget. You’ve already failed, right?
Don’t Give Up!
Wrong! Just because you had one bad day ( or a week, or month…) it doesn’t mean you should just give up. Instead, you need to get back up and try again.
Another goal I’ve made for 2020 is to spend 30 minutes writing every day. I almost didn’t share that goal with you, probably because of my fear of failure.
What if I get too busy, or forget, and I don’t write every day this new year? Should I give up? Throw in the towel? Forget that I made that goal in the first place?
Just because I messed up one day, that doesn’t guarantee I’ll mess up the entire year. Unless I choose to do so! Or I can make the choice to get back up and try again.
Trying again is the key to long term success! Thomas Edison has some amazing quotes on hard work and trying again.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
The Bible is another great resource for trying again…
To recap, here are five proven ways to make your resolutions stick in 2020:
- Limit Your Goals
- Write Them Down
- Review Past Success
- Give them to God
- Get Back Up and Try Again
I hope you’ve found this list useful in achieving your goals and making your resolutions stick for the new year! Make it a great one,