Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work (And How to Make them Work)

Posted on Posted in Intentional Living

It’s December once again! God, that was fast!

Do you realize that we’re not getting any younger? A few years from now, things will be a lot different, and everything that will turn out will depend on the decisions we make. Maybe it’s now time to decide to be more serious about making the best of the best happen to us.

We’re lucky because we live in the millennial era, where the world is limitless, full of opportunities and life is getting easier to deal with (for some). So new year’s resolutions must be more doable, noh? Not really.

I’m sure we all are familiar with New Year’s Resolutions. I bet you’re making one this coming year. I bet you’re making yearly new year’s resolutions, only to yearly fail on them too. Well, I did. I used to, until I realized they don’t work. I decided to look closely because maybe I’m doing something wrong, and yes, I really am.

New year’s resolutions don’t work for a reason. They don’t work because there are too many of them and we decided to execute them on the first day of the year alone.

The best and lasting changes happen gradually. To change many things all at once is stressful to your mental, physical and spiritual condition. Too many cravings you have to resist. Too impatient and too weak to persevere because it’ll be too hard. So why are we expecting improvements to happen?

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That didn’t mean you can’t accomplish those things that will be written on that list. It just means that you have to find better ways for it to be effective.

Here’s how to make your new year’s resolution work for you:

  • Be patient. No change happens overnight. Well, maybe some do, but these quick changes also are quick to come back overnight. All changes that lasts for a lifetime happens incrementally, and what you are changing are not just simple things about you. You are changing a lifestyle. You are changing a mindset. And this requires time and effort to be effective.  
  • Plan it out. Don’t just grab a notebook and list whatever comes to mind. Before doing anything, try to contemplate about your life first. What do you really want? Where are you in your life? Do you like where you are? If yes, what improvements do you want for the next year? If no, what can you do to make it the life you choose to be? Then start prioritizing. What are the most important resolutions? Why am I changing this? What are the things that I will gain if I accomplish them? What are the things that I will lose if I will fail? Write them all and reflect. To help you with setting your goals and resolutions, here’s a more organized and minimalist way to set them. FREE GOAL-SETTING WORKSHEET TOO!
  • Schedule it. Create a schedule for each changes you will make. It is ineffective to start them all on January. Try to limit your resolutions to a maximum of 12 for the year. How about, one goal for January, one resolution for February, one for March until you finish them all? Experiment. It will depend on your endurance and preferences. Find what works for you. 
  • Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Embracing, loving, and appreciating discomfort is the way to experience it positively. 
  • Stay focused. Set these goals and read them everyday. Insert these in your morning and evening routines. If you downloaded the free worksheet, the annual goals and 3-month goals are the ones to review. It is ideal to read them every morning when you wake up and you say your prayers. Not only will it make you more focused, but it will also make you attract them to happen. 
  • Don’t rush it. Change takes time. All great things needed time to grow into its perfect form. The longer the process, the stronger the foundation, the harder to break. 
  • Be your own cheerleader. There will be days where you will feel weak, about to give in to temptations, or will give in to temptations. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t hate yourself. Don’t feel like a failure. Love yourself. Hug yourself and tell you “You can do this. You are strong. Okay, take a little break from all that but promise me, tomorrow, you’ll be back on track. Eat all the cake you want. Just give me extra 20 push ups tomorrow. I love you, self.”
  • Don’t ever ever give up. It will be hard, I assure you, but find ways to make it fun. Don’t ever stop. If you feel weak, take very small steps. It doesn’t matter how small, as long as its a move forward. You’ll see that in time, how big the impact of these small steps will be. It’s gonna be huge!
  • Pray. Pray for the year. Pray for more blessings. Pray for abundance. Believe that God will give it to you. Pray for motivation. Pray for strength and self-discipline. Pray and thank him for leading you to a more purposeful life.
  • Visit Madam Lily everyday. My blog will help you stay motivated and focused. That’s my job! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram! Join the Facebook Lilies Group to connect with lady dreamers who loves dreaming and fulfilling them.

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