How Do You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Know why resolutions fail and identify what is holding you back from it.

Are you optimistic about achieving your resolutions or have you already admitted defeat and not even bothered to set any? The truth is that it’s good to seek some change and to look to improve things, to improve ourselves.This doesn’t mean that we aren’t great as we are already, just that why not have things be a bit better? 

There are 3 key reasons why people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. In this post I’ll share reasons these as well as 5 tips to help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions.

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What You Will Learn In this Show:

  • Make the distinction between general new year's resolutions and business plan - 2:13
  • Learn the three main reasons why people fail - 4:27
  • What to set in place - 7:32
  • The "Which is Your Sneaky Subconscious Saboteur?" Quiz - 12:26

Key Takeaways &/or Action Points

  • Have real clarity on your WHY - Why is this important and meaningful to you?
  • Pick something small that you can be consistent with - understand just a first step and that you can take other steps to build upon that later on
  • If you struggle with consistency then make a daily goal and get used to achieving that one goal - morning routine is a great way of doing this
  • Have a simple and meaningful way to track and measure your progress
  • Take the quiz to identify the sneaky, subconscious saboteurs that are holding you back. 

Show Notes:

Today we're talking about New Year's resolutions and how do you keep your New Year's resolutions, because this is a big, big issue.

Did you know they actually have created a National Ditch New Year's resolutions Day? Oh my God, the 17th of January every year. Isn't that crazy?

But then, actually, it isn't really that crazy because you know, 80% of people actually don't get to meet their New Year's resolutions by the end of January and apparently it's only like about five or eight percent by March are still doing their New Year's resolutions.

That's a tiny, tiny percentage, like Wow!

The thing is, and there's been massive research done on this. A company called, what are they, Strava, that they discovered that the second Friday in January is when your motivation begins to falter. They did this by studying over 30 million global activities across January and found out that this is when people tend to kind of fall off the waggon of whatever it is that they've decided.

I thought it'd be really good to have a talk, though. It's really interesting as I've been sharing about this, a lot of people are saying, "Oh, we don't do resolutions. "

I really want you to think about this. I want you to think about why don't you do New Year's resolutions if you do, and, if you do do them, like what is it that is kind of causing you to kind of to ditch those New Year's resolutions after not too long.

Now, I've got a few reasons why people fail. I want you to think about this because a lot of the time when people don't set New Year's resolutions, it's because they've set them in the past and failed and they don't want to fail again. I can understand people wanting to avoid failure, but we really need to learn from failure and just think of it as feedback and look at going forwards.

Now here's my kind of get-out-of-New-Year's-resolutions thing for, you know, kind of free is, if you already have got a business plan, so you know you got your goal set for your business and you already have got things that you are doing and changes that you are making and who you are becoming, then you might not need to set up any additional New Year's resolutions.

I'm actually still considering mine because I'm in that situation now. Myself and my husband, I think we're going to do some joint ones. We spent nearly all New Year's Eve talking through our 2018, what worked, what didn't work, our lessons. It was such an insightful conversation and if you haven't done that yet, I highly recommend you do that with a loved one or a friend just to make sure that you're not carrying things through into this year.

In fact, in the mindset shift tool that I use, we even have a New Year's session totally all about New Year's resolutions because people tend to have a lot of hangups about them.

So, one reason. If you're in that situation, then you might say, "Well, okay, I'm not going to set any big, massive New Year's resolutions", but maybe there's one little thing that you can do that's not business related, that's more personal.

It might be to do without your health. It might be to do with your relationship or getting into a relationship, you know, or to do with your home environment, whatever it might be. I know I've got some little things that I want to do around that. I'll explain why I'm doing it this way in a bit.

Why is it that people fail? 

Number one - They set resolutions that are too big.  

Now this probably especially applies to creatives because we love to think big. If we're setting New Year's resolutions that are unachievable and actually might not even be in alignment with what you truly want.

I think there's so much stuff at this time of year about, oh, I've overindulged over Christmas.

I want to lose weight, dah, dah, dah, and it's like you've got to look at, well, what do you really value?

 What are your real priorities? What's actually important to you? What are you going to be inspired about to keep moving forward with?

The second reason why people fail in their New Year's resolutions is that they don't ask for help.    

I think people are worried to ask others for help in case there's an inconvenience, in case it puts them out in some way, and so they don't want to impose.

 I think there's this real misconception that, if you're an independent person, you should have to do everything on your own. That is not true at all.

I want you to think about it from the point of view of people go from being dependent to being independent to being interdependent. If you want to know more about that, read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Awesome book, was life changing for me, in fact. 

So the thing is being independent doesn't mean you have to be doing things in isolation and you can't ask for help, because think about it this way. If you ask for, absolutely, absolutely, asking for help is a strength. Yes, it is.

Knowing when to ask for strength, actually having the courage to do that and asking even if you think you might get a no, that's okay. It's like it's not about the outcome as much as actually just asking and putting it out there. Hey, I'm open for help. I'm open to receiving help and support and guidance. it might come to you in ways that you just never even imagined.

I heard about some books before Christmas. In fact, one of them I'd heard about years ago, and I thought I'd read it. When I looked at it in more detail, it's like, oh no, I didn't read that one, I read that other one that was similar but different.

I've read two books over the holiday period and they have both blown in my mind in different ways and have really helped me moving forward. So you just never know how these things will happen.

just one other thing about asking for help, and I don't know if this is an English thing. Maybe it's a bit of an Irish thing. Maybe it's just a bit of a human thing, but I think people are worried to ask others for help in case there's an inconvenience, in case it puts them out in some way, and so they don't want to impose.

Look, if people aren't in a position to help you, they can say no. They have a mouth, they have a brain. It's up to them to use them in the best way for themselves. So yeah, so put that aside and make sure that you are asking for help.

The third reason is self-sabotaging behaviours and particularly procrastination and inconsistency.  

A lack of consistency is a massive, massive reason to not achieve your New Year's resolutions or any other goals. 

In fact, that used to be a massive issue for me. I have really reduced that down through the mindset work that I've done and other things I've put in place.

So then we talk about what you can put in place then.  

Number one is have real clarity about your why.    

Why is this important and meaningful to you? And if it isn't, then, you know, don't set out to do it because you're probably not going to stick with it.

Number two is to pick something small.  

I think people have this idea like, oh, I'm going to wake up on New Year's Day, I've set this New Year's resolution. I'm going to be a completely different person.

Well, no, of course you're not. You're the same person.

Do you know what makes you a different person is creating new habits, is creating new patterns of thinking and feeling and behaving. That is what actually makes you a different person. It doesn't boom happen overnight just because it's New Year's. I think it's really easy to get fooled into feeling that way.

Pick something small. If you have found it hard to keep New Year's resolutions in the past, just pick one thing.

Even if you find it hard to be consistent with that. Maybe you go,"Oh, well this is my goal" or "This is my vision"  and each day, I don't know what it is yet, but each day I'm going to wake up and I'm going to maybe in your meditation or journaling or even you just lie in bed and go, okay, what's one thing I could do today that will move me towards that goal, that will move me towards that vision.

See what comes to you and do that one thing and then that way you won't feel trapped about, oh, I have to do this, I have to do that, but at least you're making progress every day on that. Or even once a week you put it in your calendar, it pops up, oh, today's a day where I'm going to do something on this.

So small, make it small, but make it consistent. It doesn't have to be the same thing to have consistency.

I think those of us who love variety, that's like music to our ears. Though I have to say actually, getting more focused and getting more consistent, it has just become a lot easier for me to do now.

Number three is to have a simple and meaningful way to track your progress.  

Now you might have heard about the, not photographer, the comic, the comedian, oh, what's his name? It's got it in my head, Seinfeld, Seinfeld, that's his name. And so what he was asked how are you so funny? Like, how'd you keep coming up with funny jokes?

And he said, "Well, you know, every day I work on my craft," and he has just a blank calendar. You know those ones that have like just a big x, a big square. Then every day he does something on his comic craft, he puts an X in it and he just says don't break the chain.

For him it's about doing it every day. It might be doing it daily, it might be doing it weekly, but it's just about as having some way to track your progress that isn't really complex, that's easy and fast to do.

The fourth one is to have an accountability buddy. 

Okay. We've talked about asking for help. Part of that might be about having an accountability buddy.

That might be a coach. It might be like so for me, I work with a personal trainer. I'm already doing a lot of this stuff on an ongoing basis, you see.

I have accountability in my business, I have mindset coaching, I have business coaching, I have personal training coaching, so I have a support network to help me with different areas of my life and that makes a big, big difference.

At the very least you can have an accountability buddy where both of you are helping each other out.

The fifth one is to think about your environment.

When your environment is structured in such a way as to support you in your goals, then that actually makes a massive, massive difference.

This is one of the reasons why I'm doing a massive overhaul in my office. I'm getting new furniture. I've got rid of a load of stuff.

In fact, we did some over the holidays, so in the next few weeks you're going to see a different background here.

That's me getting some accountability, because I want the environment to support me better in the work that I'm doing and in my videos and all of that.

So what is it about your environment? Is it about removing something from your environment or is it about putting something into your environment where it's maybe more, because you know what it's like, out of sight, out of mind.

I heard a story of somebody who wanted to learn how to play the guitar and they just never practised. What they did was they brought the guitar and put it on a stand within sight of where they would sit to watch the telly.  Guess what happened? They kept seeing it and picking it up and having a bit of a play and so over time that then became a habit, so it can be quite simple things that you can do.

The final thing is to identify the sneaky, subconscious saboteurs that are holding you back.

Then the final thing that I would suggest you do is to identify what are the kind of subconscious, the sneaky, subconscious saboteurs that are holding you back, that are causing you to do stop self-sabotaging things even if you're not even aware that you're doing them, so that you can deal with that.

Now I have created a quiz called the "Which is Your Sneaky Subconscious Saboteur?"

We're just putting the finishing touches on it, and so what I want you to do is comment below and say send me the quiz or say I want to know my saboteur or that subconscious is a sneaky so-and-so, whatever it is. So you comment that below and I will send you the link.

It'll be ready like literally in the next day or so, and so I will send that to you. It's completely free. Not only do you get to identify which is your sneaky subconscious saboteur, you also get a free training video and e-course to go with it as well.

Isn't that fabulous? So comment below and do that, and then that way you can see, all right, so what does environment, what is it about the decisions and the size of goals I'm setting? What is this about me that's actually holding me back as well that I can change and do that. Then that way you can have New Year's resolutions that actually work for you, that stick. 

Actually I sent out to my newsletter list this morning an email about something that happened to me just this morning at 4:00 AM as well, would you believe, and that was all to do with some way of my subconscious that was trying to sabotage me.

It's really interesting how this kind of all plays together.

If you want 2019 to be the year that you really make a difference, that you really make an impact for yourself and for other people, then this is the kind of thing that you're going to be dealing with.

So, you know, you're going to understand why people fail with the New Year's resolutions. I went through those, about making them big and unachievable, not asking for help and the subconscious sabotaging behaviours. And then how to keep them, have real clarity on your why, make sure that you're picking small resolutions and goals that you can be consistent with. Ask for help. Get accountability. Create the right environment around you. Take the quiz to make sure that you can identify which are your sneaky, subconscious saboteurs.

All right, I will see you same time next week. Thank you for joining me.

Remember share, click to get notified, and comment below with any questions that you've got.

By the way, if you enjoyed this free broadcast, I want you to know I go into this stuff in way more detail in my one-to-one and group coaching and workshops. So, if you want to find out more about it, just click my name to send me a message and we can have a chat about that.

Have a great week. See you soon. Bye.

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Una Doyle

About the Author

Una Doyle

Una is a Business Coach & Strategist for Creative Services Providers (Design, Animation, Marketing/Digital Agencies, etc.). She helps them to stand out from the crowd confidently & profitably so they can attract high-level, 'Ready to Invest' clients, doing creative work that fills their hearts with pride - WITHOUT selling their soul or adding extra workload.

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