Hate New Year’s Resolutions? Try a Different Approach

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Another year has arrived, and you might be thinking of making a change. Want to lose weight? Considering giving Dry January a try? The new year often reminds us of changes we want to complete. Therefore, making a New Year’s resolution might seem like the logical thing to do.

However, does the idea make you groan? Do you have a sneaking suspicion that whatever goal you set, you’ll abandon it before the end of January?

I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution for years. Here’s why they fail:

  • The goal is usually vague or not clearly defined.
  • You don’t have a way to hold yourself accountable.
  • You start it at an arbitrary time, not when you need to.
  • You probably don’t do much planning when setting the goal.
  • A lack of confidence or limiting beliefs hold you back.
  • You’re less than 100% committed.
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Let’s face it. New Year’s resolutions are so cliché. If you want to make some changes, try these approaches instead:

Wait Until You’re 100% Committed

If you want to turn over a new leaf, January 1st doesn’t have to be your starting line. Begin on your terms, not on some arbitrary date. Wait until you’re ready to leave the comfort of your current habits. You’ll end up being more internally motivated to stick with your plan.

Try Monday Campaigns

Want to drop a few pounds? Perhaps decide that this Monday, you’ll cut out sweets. Just that day. This tactic is one example of what many individuals are doing for the Monday Campaigns. It’s an initiative to encourage people to dedicate each Monday to improving their health. Focusing on one positive health habit each Monday can set you on the path to more sustainable healthy behaviors.

You can use this Monday Campaign approach for other pursuits. For example, I’d like to expand my web writing skills. To this end, I will devote each Monday this month to learning more about web writing, such as researching the latest SEO tools, learning more about keyword research, and so on.

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Set a Month-Long Goal

If you want to use January 1 as a starting point, limit your goal to just one month. Giving yourself a more feasible timeline will set you up for an early win. That feeling of accomplishment at the end of the month will encourage you to keep going or identify another habit to change.

List the Things You Look Forward To

Most psychologists point out that we feel more positively about future events than remembering the past. Having something to look forward to can give you that extra motivation and adjust your attitude about your needed behavioral change.

For example, if you want to quit smoking, you can say, “I’ll buy new clothes with the money I won’t spend on cigarettes,” or “I’ll spend more hours riding my bike because I won’t be so winded.” Make a list of things you’ll look forward to and keep it handy.

If you’re scrapping the New Year’s resolution, comment below and share what you’ll be doing instead.

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