How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions This Year

How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions This Year

By Jamie Matthewman
February 15th, 2016

Do you have a history of failing your new years resolutions? If so you’re not alone of the 48% of people who make a new years resolution, 40% will fail according to Forbes Magazine.

That’s a massive 84% failure rate, and whilst failure can be a positive thing in life, what’s the point in making a resolution if you’re more likely to fail than get the result you really want? So in this article discover how to achieve your new years resolutions with a greater level of success.

And you’ll likely be pleased to discover there’s only one thing you need to know about how to achieve your new years resolutions (supported by research) and that is … permanent change in your life is possible until you’re ready for change.

Obvious right? Perhaps but also remember that one of the biggest reasons you feel inclined to make a change is because western society has been hypnotised by the idea that January’s the most appropriate time for transformation and this isn’t true.

The potential for creating change is available in any moment, it’s just as relevant on November 23rd as it is on 1st January. I suspect the biggest changes you’ve made in your life didn’t happen on January the 1st? The 1st January doesn’t suddenly mean you’re a man who’s ready to quit every bad habit he’s ever had and a superhero.

That said, I’m all for the impetus and momentum the idea of new years resolutions can create and I’m all for challenging yourself but making a resolution to go to the gym every day for the next 6 months or quitting drinking alcohol maybe unrealistic at this time.

Goal setting can be a healthy practice but and a few days or weeks might be doable, but making it to the 66 day sweet spot, where research has shown on average a new habit is formed if your desire isn’t strong enough, so this is what you need to be clear about.

why new years resolutions fail

Desire is Mission Critical to Achieving Your New Years Resolutions

January 1st offers a great opportunity to implement something you’re READY to commit to. For example in 2016 I was ready to change my alcohol consumption habits (I wrote more about this in this post – how to stop drinking for 30 days and beyond).

Desire is mission critical as this article in Psychology Today on why new years resolutions fail reports –

“habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.”

This means if you don’t have a strong enough positive desire for change, you strengthen the the habit you claim you want to eliminate. So whilst it’s innocent, the reason you’ve failed new years resolutions in the past, is because the new years resolutions you’ve claimed you want to accomplish actually haven’t made enough sense to you.

For example if you decide getting to work at 9.00am every morning is an imperative in your life, whilst it might not always be easy, barring circumstances beyond your control, you’ll get there without fail. Habit change is always within your control.

You can’t blame anyone or any external circumstance the buck rests on your shoulders but only if you’re fully committed otherwise you set yourself up for failure. If you impose a rule on your life you’re not ready to follow, perhaps deciding to go enjoy life and come back to it when you’re ready is a wiser choice (tweet this).

The Simple Path to Achieving Your New Years Resolutions

So what if the only thing necessary to accomplish your new years resolutions (and to live life honestly and authentically) was to do what REALLY makes sense and stop worrying about it until it does?

As we’ve talked about, if you’re changing something in your life because you think you have to, it’s unlikely to stick. But if it makes complete sense beyond just a rational understanding, you’ll stop or start the change you want to make effortlessly.

Making false promises to yourself that you keep for a while, could lead you to wrongly believe you can’t make the change you say you want so you continue the habit you don’t want.

For example if you’ve tried to stop smoking, quit sugar, caffeine and failed. The so called addictive substances aren’t really the problem. The problem is you weren’t ready and the potential knock on effect is you may start believing the idea that it’s harder than it really is or even worse, that you’re incapable of quitting, which is bullshit.

Yes there are addictive properties in nicotine or sugar or alcohol that make the process potentially difficult, I’ve been through it, but when it makes sense to you to stop, when enough is enough, you’ll endure a period of discomfort no matter what.

So if you’re finding sticking to your new year’s resolution challenging, check in with yourself and question how committed you really are. Anything less than 100% and the likelihood is you’re destined for failure. If you notice your level of commitment is less than 100% you may want to think about modifying the resolution to a rule you know you’re ready and willing to stick to…100%. The only level of commitment that guarantees success is ALL IN.

1. What new year’s resolutions have you committed to this year?

2. As you think about each one, notice how strong your desire is? Anything less than a hell yeah, nothing is going to stop me, I’d suggest you might want to reconsider.

3. Now go public with your resolution…fully commit to it by sharing it in the comments section below

Jamie Matthewman

About Jamie Matthewman

Jamie is the founder, main contributor and editor of The Inspired Man.

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