Setting New Year’s Resolutions & Not Keeping Them? 3 Ideas to Make You Follow Through.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My favorite holiday is coming. I LOVE New Year’s and the chance I have to look back at the past year’s changes and growth, and look forward to the coming changes I want to make happen in my life.

I haven’t always loved this holiday, or been able to follow through with what I did when I was finally able to appreciate what an opportunity it is.

Setting goals is hard.

Following through is even harder.

Here are the top three mindset shifts that will help you set goals you can keep.

Don’t Set Goals- Be Resolved

Goals are short term. Goals are good when you are breaking things down step by step. So from here on out, when I say goals, translate that for me, will you?

If you are setting resolutions you are wanting to shoot for something more long term, like for the year or creating habits for the rest of your life.

Being resolved with an idea is different than setting a goal, and both are important, so be sure to distinguish between the two when preparing for the new year.

Pick one resolution that will be your overall theme for the year. Last year, I was resolved to be consistent. I then set goals and steps that would help me to become consistent. I would post on my blog x times per week, I would meditate every day, etc.

If I missed a day, I wasn’t discouraged, because failure happens, and I was still resolved to be this way for the year. That mentality carried me past a short term slip-up and into better habits. 300/365 days of meditating is still better than if I had just quit after the first day I messed up. Which for the record, was a lot in the first couple of months.

When I remembered, “Oh yeah, I want to be this or do that.” I simply start again. I was resolved to continue despite failure and false starts.

Work With Yourself Not Against Yourself

Why are you setting goals?

Are you trying to completely change who you are? Or simply trying to improve?

When you work with traits you already have to become better, the task doesn’t seem so daunting.

We all have things that aren’t perfect, but we already have a basic mastery of. Things we have started to learn and quit, or natural talents and abilities.

Maybe you already know an instrument and need to improve technique.

Or a sport you can learn a new move for.

Already like writing in your journal? Make it more consistent.

Already running? Add a few weight lifting rotations.

There is ALWAYS something to improve, perfection is a long way off for most of us. If you are already perfect, you probably don’t need to be reading this article in the first place.

Build on something you already have.

Use Your Natural Talents And Abilities

Everyone has different traits and natural abilities, so this section will be different for everyone.

Depending on what traits you possess, they should be used to help you in your goals and resolutions.

For example, I am a stubborn person. My stubbornness gives me a sense of stick-to-it-iveness that helps me be who I want to be, regardless of outside influences.

I am also very weird. I used this when I decided to be more social. My ability to stick out gave me plenty of opportunities to meet new people and start a conversation.

I tend to be very optimistic, which helps me to continue when I mess up. I am willing to start again, because this time, I will succeed.

Find out what traits you have and how to use them. Figure out who you are as a person before you resolve to make any changes to that person.

You most likely have a lot of good traits already that you don’t even realize. Seeing those good traits and appreciating who you are and how much you have already overcome becomes a launching point to improve.

It becomes more of a refining process than complete overhaul. Completely changing who you are is likely to be exhausting and overwhelming.

“Lift Where You Stand”

I have been into self improvement for a long time, but it wasn’t until I could appreciate who I am as a person that I really made any significant changes.

Struggling through depression growing up, feeling like I was never enough, no matter how much I did was overwhelming.

I had an epiphany when I heard Dieter Uchtdorf, a religious leader from Germany, tell a story of a group of men trying to move a piano- no simple task, especially as none were professional movers.

No matter the arrangement, they struggled to keep the piano balanced as they tried to move it and risked damaging it. It wasn’t until one man said, “Stand close together and lift where you stand” that they were able to move the piano without dropping and damaging the instrument.

This idea to lift where I stand, putting forth a little effort without such grand lengths and feats of strength is what changed my view of myself and how I approached my goals.

Conclusion

This year, be resolved to take steps towards who you want to be. Find the good you have and build upon it, lifting where you stand.

Don’t try to completely change who you are, because you have a lot of good in you already.

It only takes a few tweaks to get you on the right track. It’s amazing how a brand new world can open before your eyes with these few simple shifts.

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