Still dragging your feet on a New Year’s Resolution for 2022? Great! Your timing is perfect because this post will help get you sorted and on your way to implementing a resolution that actually might make a difference in your life. The problem with most New Year’s Resolutions is that they aren’t structured for success. To understand why so many resolutions fall to the wayside, let’s break down the stumbling blocks:
DON’T BE VAGUE
Most resolutions are too vague to be implementable. Consider the following examples:
- This year I’m going to get in shape.
- This year I’m going to be more productive.
- This year I’m going to work on my happiness.
On the surface, these resolutions all sound great. Each is an admirable goal, but what exactly does it mean to get in shape? The spectrum is huge here. For you, getting in shape might mean exercising to lose ten pounds. For an elite athlete, “getting in shape” might mean training to the next level to compete in an Iron Man triathlon. To make an exercise resolution achievable, it needs specificity.
You want to be more productive, wonderful, but more productive than what? Are you going to work more hours, or cram more work into the hours you already work? How are you going to know if you’re more productive. Are you implementing a new system or work flow? See the problem here.
The last example, I’m going to work on my happiness, is probably the most problematic resolution of all. Yes, we’d all love to be happier, but happiness itself is amorphous and practically impossible to quantify. A better choice is to think about the situations and conditions which impact your happiness, identify the ones you have control over, and then try to maximize or minimize said conditions accordingly.
DON’T HAVE TOO MANY
This one is easy. Despite the temptation, don’t overload yourself with too many resolutions. In fact, I recommend limiting yourself to one per year. In my opinion, resolutions are different from goals. Goals apply to specific facets of our lives. Resolutions apply to the whole-person. They are about making our experience of living better by recognizing a personal shortcoming and then working hard to change that.
Goals apply to specific facets of our lives. Resolutions apply to the whole-person.
Change is really hard, so don’t set yourself up for misery and failure by trying to change too much too fast. Write as many goals as you want, but limit your resolutions. If you do insist on having multiple resolutions, then at least make them categorically different. For example, if your first resolution pertains to physical health, make the other apply to spirituality or professional growth.
MAKE IT MEASURABLE
One sure fire way to reset your resolution is to make it measurable. Making something measurable allows you to track your progress. It also allows you to apply metrics and compare your performance over time. The App Store is full of apps for measuring and tracking everything under the sun, from meditation, to productivity, to fitness, and so on. Research shows that these apps really do work, because they provide feedback and data. Simply being able to log and track your progress increases your probability of achieving your resolution.
MAKE IT SUSTAINABLE
Let’s face it, at its core every resolution is about making a change to your lifestyle. The best way to achieve success is to make that change something that is sustainable. And the best way to make a change sustainable is to transform it into a habit. When a change becomes a habit, it changes from something that we have to remember and put thought and effort into every time, into something that becomes part of our daily routine.
Once something is part of our daily routine, it has staying power.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now that we’ve covered all the individual parts of resetting our resolution, let’s put everything together and return to our earlier example:
- This year I’m going to get in shape.
Wanting to get in shape is the sentiment, but we need to make it more specific, measurable, and structured so that it can become a habit.
- This year I’m going to get in shape by walking 10K steps a day.
How are we going to get in shape? By walking.
How do we make it measurable? By tracking our steps using an Apple Watch or pedometer.
How do we make it a habit? By incorporating walking into our daily routine.
And there it is—with a simple three-step revision we turned a vague resolution into one that specific, measurable, and likely to become a habit!
I hope these tips help you “Reset Your Resolution for 2022,” and in the coming year you are able to implement the change in your life your seeking! Do you have your own resolution tips or thoughts you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you on Facebook!