How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions's featured image

How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Truly an ancient tradition, the first New Year’s resolutions date back over 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. The Babylonians made resolutions to their gods for bountiful crops and good health in return. Of course, today, New Year’s resolutions are primarily secular, with a focus inward on goals of self-improvement. Although we sit down full of good intentions, most resolutions are forgotten by January 2nd.


The answer is a no-resolutions resolution approach! Don’t just pick a popular goal, dig deep. Focus on what’s really important to you – and maintain your New Year’s resolutions all year long.

Reflect on the why

Often we pick resolutions that seem generally virtuous or a good idea – but if they don’t resonate with you and your priorities in life, you’ll never see them through. Is it really to “get more sleep” and “eat better”? The new year is a perfect time for reflection, take a few moments to ponder how you’d like your life to look this time next year. Perhaps it’s a promotion, an amazing holiday, a year of exciting activity…or more joy.

Dig Deeper

Work out the areas of your life that are most important to you. It might be your family, your career, personal growth, fitness, friends or finances. Include as many as you want, there’s no limit, it’s a new year. Next, write a statement for each category that you want to be true in 12 months. Write it in the past tense, so it feels like an accomplishment that has happened. Under ‘family’ you might write: “we enjoy time together regularly”, under career: “I got that promotion.” Then add how it would make you feel – fulfilled, satisfied, secure, loved.

Layout a Plan

This is an important part of fulfilment. How will you make your new year’s statement a reality? Write three actions that you’ll have to complete to make your statement come true. Family goals may mean scheduling family activities on the weekend and one-on-one time with kids throughout the week. For the promotion, a few extra training courses to develop your skills may be all it takes. These actions are your resolutions. They must be specific and actionable. Not “get fit”, but “sign up for a gym, meet with a personal trainer and commit to two pilates classes a week.”

Need some reading inspiration? Look no further than Atomic Habits – Tiny Changes Remarkable Results by James Clear. It’s the book all career and life coaches are recommending these days. Or just watch or listen to his talk ‘How to get 1% better every day. 


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash