Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick | One Word Makes the Difference
With the New Year right around the corner, many of us are already starting to think about what resolution to make this year. If you haven't succeeded with your resolutions in the past, there is one word that will help make your New Year's resolution stick.
First, why do we make resolutions? We are a society run on tradition, a belief or a behavior that is practiced generation after generation. Sometimes, traditions are practiced blindly without any knowledge of their origin or significance. One of the longest standing traditions in our society is the New Year’s Resolution, first being practiced 4,000 years ago.
If you are one of the few who is unfamiliar with resolutions, it’s simple. It's a promise of self-improvement that you make to yourself with an official start date of the first day of the New Year (January 1st). There are no guidelines or restrictions as to what your resolution(s) can be.
- I will do [resolution]
- I will be [resolution]
- I will achieve [resolution]
The idea is: new year = new opportunity, new start, new chapter in your book.
It should be to no surprise that the most popular resolutions are related to health. Here are some common ones:
- in [year], I will lose weight
- in [year], I will eat healthier
- in [year], I will go to the gym
- in [year], I will do more Yoga
That's an Amazing Start!
These are great promises to make to yourself!
Seriously, what is more important than your health? Good health is an enabler to everything else in life. It is what makes the world your “oyster”.
So, prioritizing health is amazing! Here’s the big “but”… Generally, resolutions start off very strong. You make a bulletproof plan, buy the right outfits, (over)pay for a personal trainer. And, right out of the gate, you execute to a T and you feel fantastic for it!
- First day – wow, where has this been all my life?
- Second day – I can really do this!
- First Week – I’m already down 3 pounds, this is going to be easy!!
- Second Week – who said this was difficult? I’m going to see my abs in no time!
- First month – hmm, I’ve worked out so hard for a full month and I’m not seeing much of a difference!? This is a lot harder than I thought…
- Third month – remember that resolution I made? What happened? Maybe I should start over… But, it's been so busy. Wait, health is important. I’m going to do this… next year…
Does this sound familiar? If it does, you should know that you’re not alone. Unfortunately, on a year-to-year basis, at least 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can’t.
Making a resolution is an amazing start, but what's important is to make your New Year's resolution stick.
How to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick
I apologize if I burst your bubble. But, I would be doing you a major disservice if I lied and told you that making resolutions is all that it takes.
But, what if I told you that the solution is simple?
No, it’s not a magic pill or a magic formula. It will still require hard work, but it will put you in the right mindset for success.
In another one of my blogs, I talked about the power of words; specifically “why”. But, more specifically, the concept was to ask yourself why. Taking the time to ask yourself questions can be so powerful. You simply do not find answers to questions you don’t ask.
But I digress.
Back to the topic of New Year’s resolutions. I truly believe, rather, I know that you increase your chances of success by adding a single word to your resolution. That word is “because”.
- in [year], I will lose weight because [reason]
- in [year], I will eat healthier because [reason]
- in [year], I will go to the gym because [reason]
- in [year], I will do more Yoga because “insert reason”
This concept applies to all resolutions, not just the health-related ones.
What is Your Because?
You have to dig deep for this. Your “because” has to be more than just ego. To put it bluntly, as it pertains to health, it has to be about more than weight loss. Aesthetically driven goals can be motivating in the short-term, but when it comes to long-term lifestyle and health changes, there needs to be a deeper reason.
The deeper you dig, the more you increase your chances of success. For example:
- Resolution A: in [year], I will eat healthier
- Resolution B: in [year], I will eat healthier because I want to look good in a bathing suit
- Resolution C: in [year], I will eat healthier because I want to set a good example for my children
Which of these resolutions do you suppose has the highest chance of long-term success?
Five Examples to Get You Going
I understand that, while the concept is simple, the execution may be difficult. But I promise you that, once the gears are in motion, you will find many deep reasons why you made yourself that promise. Here are five good examples that I’ve heard from clients in the past:
- I will eat healthier because I want my children to live healthy lives
- I will work harder because I want to show my children that hard work pays off
- I will get more fit because I want to be physically involved in my daughter’s life
- I will eat less processed foods because my family has a history of heart disease and eating more foods in their natural form will reduce my chances of getting heart disease
- I will travel this year because I want to gain perspective on life
Start asking yourself these questions because it will help you make your New Year’s Resolution stick. Remind yourself of your because when you run into obstacles. And, you will. It’s inevitable. But now, with this new mindset, your “because” will drive you right through these obstacles and straight toward success.
Make this year the best year of your life.