New Years Resolutions are either loved or hated. There is no happy medium when it comes to setting them. Either you love New Years Resolutions and can’t wait to pick your goals for the New Year or you want absolutely nothing to do with them and have no desire to even think about them. There’s a stigma around New Years Resolutions that they don’t work, even if you are all about your resolution that you are doomed to fail at some point. When I worked in a gym we called them “Resolutioners” and they were the gyms best costumers. They’d sign up for a year contract on January 1 and only come for a week! So whats the trick to really making New Years Resolutions work for you? How can you become the people that love them and swear by them every year?
You Need to Have a Thoughtful New Years Resolution That Motivates You.
A lot of the reason what New Years Resolutions are doomed to fail from the start is that they are last minute decisions or piggy-backed resolutions off of what friends or family may be focusing on for the New Year. When in reality, you haven’t taken the chance to really sit down with yourself and understand what you really want to accomplish and set out to do in the New Year. Instead you’re just going to “lose weight” or “find a new job,” maybe even “put myself out there more.” These broad and generic New Years Resolutions are not actionable, they aren’t motivating, and how you accomplish them/when you are accomplished is up for so much interpretation.
New Years Resolutions shouldn’t be last minute wishes or spontaneous thoughts on January 1. If you truly want to stick to your New Yers Resolution and set out to have an amazing New Year where you continue to reach you goals and grow, then you need to truly plan your New Years Resolutions. And there is really no better month than December to kickstart your New Years Resolution Planning!
Why You Should Plan New Years Resolutions in December
You Need to Reflect on the Past Year to Understand What You Want to Change.
Look back at the last 11 months of your life, what did you like? what did you not like? Did anything change over the past year that you don’t like? Identifying what is working in your life and what isn’t working in your life are key to New Years Resolution planning. When you have a solid understanding of how you are going to take you life into the New Year, you can clearly identify things that will supplement your current lifestyle. You also will be able to know how much time you have available to dedicate to a Resolution – that can help you determine of time-intensive of a Resolution is truly possible for you.
Reflecting on the past year not only lets you identify gaps and places for improvement, but it also can help you plan a New Years Resolution that you are more likely to keep and stick to throughout the entire New Year. Before you really start diving into the New Year and adding things to your plate, you have to be clear on what you current life looks like – what you want to remove, what you want to add, and how much time you have to invest. December is a great time to revisit this because it marks the end of a cycle for you to look back on.
Your New Years Resolution Needs to be Clear, Not Broad, and That Takes Time to Figure Out.
This was loosely mentioned in the intro to this post, but it’s so important it needs a little more detail. Part of having a successful New Years Resolution means clearly defining what your goal is. A lot of people will say “I’m going to get back to the gym for my New Years Resolution.” That’s great but why are you doing that? Are you planning on running a marathon next year? Do you want to get your body in check for a vacation you have planned? Do you have some extra weight that you want to lose? There’s even more reasons why someone would want to make getting back to the gym their New Years Resolution.
Once you identify what you want your Resolution to be on a broad level, you need to dig into why. This might take some time which is why you need to start planning New Years Resolutions in December! If you want to learn how to cook and become a better chef, maybe that’s because you really want to have more family dinners in the New Year and spend more time with those closet to you. If you are hoping to learn a new skill or hobby in the New Year, maybe it’s because you had a lot of free time of your hands last year and you want to limit the amount of down time or screen time you had last year. Understanding the true reason behind your resolution is one way to make your resolution be successful.
In Order to Have a Successful New Years Resolution, You Have to Have a Clear Plan to Success.
Going into January all willy nilly and going with the flow, is not necessarily the best way to attack a New Years Resolution. Not having a plan means there’s room for excuses to pop up and for priorities to change. The benefits of planning your New Years Resolution in December means you have time to plan our a clear Action Plan that will work for you. Sometimes we get really excited about New Years Resolutions and reaching our goals that we bite off more than we can chew the first week of January. If you take this approach, burnout is likely (not always so if you are a fully commit jump in head first kinda person, don’t stop doing that!). Too much change too quick might not be a sustainable approach.
Once you have an idea of what you want your goal for the New Year to be, start thinking about what it you take to get there. Let’s take the most common New Years Resolution for an example. If you want to lose X-amount of weight in the New Year and you haven’t been to a gym in a year, it’s probably not the best idea i say your going to go to the gym for 2 hours a day every day. It can seem overwhelming and unattainable. Instead map out when you could fit a workout in with you schedule – is it before work? after work? during lunch? on the weekends? Then build out a phased roll out – Week 1-2 = 3, 30 minute workouts a week, Week 3-4 = 3, 1 hour workouts a week, Week 5-6 = 3, 1 hour workouts and 2, 30 minute workouts a week. Using December to plan out your Resolution means you have a clear plan to success the moment January 1 begins!
It Builds Excitement and Anticipation for the New Year
Starting planning for New Years Resolutions in December is the ultimate way to build hype. It gets your wheels turning. You clearly have defined your why. You have your action plan and know what your first step is going to be. You are ready to go get after it in the New Year! Taking all these steps in December is key to having a successful New Years Resolution in January and beyond. You’re probably itching to start – and you might even just get started in December! A key reason why some Resolutions are doomed from the start is that they seem impossible and there is a cloud of resentment over them. Use December as a planning month to help eliminate the negative energy and stigma around New Years Resolutions.
Now it’s time to get planning and start getting those New Years Resolutions set up for success!