How To Set A New Year's Resolution That You Can Actually Uphold



You made it to 2019, congratulations! Even if you do not care about the turn of the year, you do not do anything to celebrate it or set any resolutions, everyone without fail always stops at one time or another around this week every to think "Dang, another whole year has gone by..."

Crazy, right? Where were you a year ago? What were you thinking about at the end of 2018?

This is also the point when people who do set New Year's Resolutions begin to panic a wee bit because it is finally time to pony up and act on those resolutions. That panic, mixed with the unrealistic nature of the goal they set, is what leads them to back out of their commitment within the first couple weeks of January.

But wait, by definition, you are not allowed to back out of a commitment. So why do only 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions?

Taylor Wilkins, founder and Narrative coach at The Tailored Quill, states in an article posted last week:


"After the fog of sugar, Tryptophan, Michael Buble Christmas songs, and overstimulating family time dissipates, people frantically grasp for control again by attempting to make New Year's Resolutions. They have a mixed experience of the relief that January brings from the holiday onslaught as well as the tiring realization that January is still the dreary dead of winter and you have to go back to work.

As a result, people err on the extreme and set lofty resolutions that are simultaneously vague and unrealistic."


Panic of the commitment, unrealistic aspect of the resolution, AND the total depletion of energy following the holiday festivities becomes the recipe that mixes together into a swirling fudge of failure. 

People set goals that are important to them, sure, but they do not set them in a way that is realistic. For instance:

Jack wants to lose 50 pounds. Okay, he seems to have a What nailed down.

It is not a very specific what, though. When we discuss the What of a resolution, it should be the answer to this question:


"What do I care enough about to change or improve in my life this year?"


Maybe Jack does want to lose 50 pounds, but he very well might not care enough about it to actually do it. Often times, weight loss resolutions are based on pressure from someone else or from society. As a result, Jack does not feel the urgency of intrinsic motivation to push him to do it. 

If Jack recently had a heart attack and the doctor told him it is because of a certain food and lack of exercise, and that Jack was this close to dying, Jack just might care enough about losing weight that he will actually pursue it this year.

The What is different. 

It transforms from "I want to lose 50 pounds" to "I care about being healthy so that I can do more and avoid heart attacks."

Now that the What is clear, Jack must move on to the Why in order to cement his motivation by stating a reason he cares so much about the improvement. 

Setting the Why will be discussed next week. For now, though, I want you to answer the same question Jack did:




What have you found yourself thinking a lot about?

Wondering about?

Worrying about?

Where are those thoughts coming from? You? Someone else? Advertisements?

What is going on in your body and your mind onto which you want to shine the spotlight this year?