Many have made New Year’s resolution with the best of intentions. Some have even taken extra measures to keep their promise to themselves. From accountability partners to self-imposed financial penalties to writing them over and over again, people are ready to do anything to make this year different.
Of course, writing them down is one thing. But as many have learned, sticking to your New Year’s resolution is something else entirely. So we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council this question:
What is your secret to keeping your New Year’s Resolution?
Here are their helpful answers…
1. Be Extremely Detailed
“You need to be extremely specific to keep your resolutions. Instead of writing, “Build a personal brand,” you should write: “I want to be on four panels and publish 12 articles.” Then document the actions and milestones required. For this example, you’d write, “Define panel goals with PR firm” and “Write an article per month.” You can never be too detailed with resolutions!”
2. Make It a Community Effort
“Many people in the office are probably going to have New Year’s resolutions. I like to ask people what theirs were on the first day back after the New Year and encourage them to share it with others. Letting people know what your resolutions are makes it easier to stay honest. Also, it’s a disarming way of maybe finding out what your employees want out of life and their job.”
3. Aim for an Achievable Goal
“A lot of people make the same mistake. They make their New Year’s resolutions too difficult to achieve. Rather than attempting to change something major, choose to fight smaller battles and improve those small idiosyncrasies. Rather than telling yourself you’re going to stop eating gluten, for instance, resolve to be more conscientious about keeping a clean workspace.”
4. Stay Authentic
“After I make a list of resolutions I’d like to stick to, I look over it and ask myself whether I actually care about any of them. Society pressures us into making New Year’s resolutions about certain aspects of life (usually diet and exercise). But what if I have other priorities? If I can only make resolutions around one or two things that truly matter to me then I’ll actually stick to them.”
5. Don’t Wait Until the New Year
“It’s almost impossible to change conditioned behavior by making resolutions on arbitrary dates. Think how many resolutions you’ve made and broken in your life. The key to long-lasting change is a habit of constant optimization — if something’s not working, change it. Be mindful about your productivity system and your life generally, and make the necessary changes as you spot problems.”
6. Set Them One Month Early
“The trouble with New Year’s resolutions is that everyone attempts to pursue and fulfill them each January. And in doing so, no resolutions feel particularly special or worthwhile. So I’d suggest starting a resolution a month early. It’s a more difficult time, but you have to be much more intentional, creating a lasting habit, rather than a month-long hobby.”
7. Make Sure You’re Accountable
“I share my resolutions with business partners, friends and my fiancé. Then I set small milestones at specific times For example: “I will lose 30 pounds by December 2016, and in order to achieve this, I will lose two pounds per week until I reach my goal.” Be specific and also set designated check-in times with your accountability partners. ”
8. Set SMART Goals
“Set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). If your goal is to get into shape, set a target (distance to run, weight, heart rate, etc.), create a workout routine and measure results on a regular basis. SMART goals require better planning. If you plan up front, you’ll find harder to slack and your goal will be in sight in no time.”
9. Prioritize, Pay Attention and Be Disciplined
“I have a set of tools that seem to elude most people these days: priorities, attention and discipline. Life is full of advantages and disadvantages, and for the most part, you’re in control. If you focus on doing only what matters and you are reasonably disciplined about your priorities, you should be able to keep those resolutions.”
10. Think of Them as Part of Your Lifestyle
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Business Collective.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.