When the new year arrives, we excitedly indulge in the activity of creating resolutions. But not only new year resolutions, how many of us manage to stick to any resolution?
Many of us often decide to take action to transform life or lifestyle, especially when we face challenging situations like failing an exam or interview or being diagnosed with a disease.
But did we continue to stay firm as we were going through those circumstances?
Yes, this all gives anxiety. After spending countless thoughts formulating plans for the future, we end up with a lack of motivation and enthusiasm that we initially had.
Hence we fail to achieve the desired results.
At this point, two questions come to your mind.
Why can’t I stick to my resolution?
How to overcome this attitude of not sticking to it?
We will explore these questions one by one.
Why am I unable to stick to any resolution?
When you understand the root cause of this behaviour, you can fix it with little effort. So, let’s get into the details without any further adieu.
Lack of motivation
Studies by Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci (University of Rochester) show three inborn psychological needs- competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When these three needs are satisfied, it results in enhanced self-motivation and mental health. But when these needs are opposed, it leads to diminished motivation and wellbeing.
- Competence – the ability to do something successfully
- Autonomy – self-governing state
- Relatedness – State of being related or connected
These three are natural in every human being. These three traits are prominent in childhood. That’s why children are more motivated and fearless at an early age. But as they grow up, children are required to give up on any of these to become part of society.
Lack of self-regulation
Self-regulation is when you regulate yourself without intervention from external factors. If you are easily influenced by external factors, you lose self-regulation. You fickle from one decision to another. You can’t stick to your plans.
Unwillingness to change your habits
Your chances of success are less when you are unwilling to change your habits, in compliance with your resolution. You want to achieve a brand new goal without making a change in yourself. Now tell me, how are you planning to do that with your old habits?
So these are the fundamental causes of one’s failure. Now let’s get onto the next point.
How to overcome the attitude of not sticking to the resolution?
Working on yourself is a creative process. So let me guide you step by step.
Understand your intentions
Ask yourself. The resolution must be something that you desire deep from your heart. Not something for the sake of keeping a resolution. It must be your need, not something you mere fancy. Now, stop thinking about what others might think, focus more on why you want to stick to this resolution. You need to feel the fire inside you to accomplish this. Something done from the core of our hearts is bound to be more successful.
Be well prepared. This process looks easy and can be painstaking. You are well aware of how difficult it is to stick to your resolution. It is your transformation process. You may have to change many old habits and include new ones. No pain, no gain. Keep that in your mind. You cannot achieve something without making sacrifices.
Work on yourself before setting up big goals
Get rid of your past failures and mental baggage. Lighten up the weight from your shoulders. Remember that transformation requires being mentally strong. Understand your reasons for doing this effort. Understand why you are willing to go through such a demanding process. When you are strong-willed, things become less challenging. You become able to accomplish them effortlessly.
Keep your goal real
Be realistic about your goals. Goals should be achievable in the given time and should align with your existing commitments. Keep your obligations in mind while setting goals. If you have a job schedule to keep up with, don’t resolve to go to the gym every day. You can try yoga or jog on alternative days.
Set milestones for your goals
Now how to do that?
Let me give an example to keep it simple, like, you want to lose weight. To achieve this goal, you must develop a habit of eating healthy food and have an exercise routine. These are your milestones.
So the first thing you can do is to develop a consistent health routine as your monthly goal. Don’t worry about food or weight as of now and stick to your exercising routine only. When you successfully get your first milestone, start working for the next one.
Many people fail in their weight loss journey because they take the first step wrongly. They start with their weight and keep a track on it every week or month. And when ṭhey don’t see any changes, they get demotivated or frustrated. So set milestones and reach them one by one.
The first milestone can be getting rid of an old bad habit in a month. The second milestone can be developing a new good one required to accomplish your resolution. The third milestone can be something else in compliance with your goal.
This way you won’t focus on the outcome and won’t feel demotivated half the way.
Don’t suppress your emotions to accomplish your resolution
Instead of suppressing your feelings, find out healthy ways to accomplish your resolution. Suppression will harm you in the long term emotionally and physically. So avoid doing that.
Commitment and persistence
Take a pledge to follow the process. Tell yourself that you have 24 hours a day. Now 23 hours can belong to worldly affairs, relations, career, or your sleep, but one hour belongs to You and your resolution.
Repeat it before you sleep every night and first thing after you get up every morning.
You can record it in your voice and listen to it every night. You can even play it as your alarm tone.
The point is that you have to commit to yourself.
Consistency is the key to success. Be consistent in your efforts. This must also be your first focus- to be persistent.
Get rid of the fear of failure
‘What if I fail?’, or ‘how am I going do this?’ Get rid of these sort of fear-inducing questions. Fear will make you weak and weaken your determination. This research shows how failure at self-change attempts has negative psychological effects. You need to understand this and discard these affects to prevent yourself from cycle of failure and new efforts.
Keep in mind that you can do it and you won’t let anything come into yours.
Find out one reason that can keep you going. Remind yourself repeatedly about it. Visualize how you would feel after achieving your goal. Make it your motivation phrase.
Keep a journal
Journaling can change your life forever. It gives you a chance to understand your inner growth by reporting it on paper. It’s proven that by writing something you make it more memorable and effective in your brain. Keeping a journal helps you to stick to your resolution. You can write about your emotions, goals, plan of action etc. Read this science research about how writing goals can influence your actions and change your life.
I would like to share my Monthly Journal Template with you.
Click here to get your Free Printable Monthly Journal Template.
Acknowledge your achievements when you achieve every milestone. Appreciate yourself to stick to your resolution. Reward yourself for making progress. After all, you are on the way to your goal. This acknowledgement will bring self-motivation.
Enjoy the process
The journey is more important than the destination. Enjoy this transformation process. The more focused you are on the process, the more chances you have to succeed.
Be grateful, even after you fail to achieve a milestone due to any unavoidable reason. Don’t fill yourself with guilt. This feeling of guilt can demotivate you and can harm your wellbeing in the long run. If you miss a milestone, accept the fact and move on. That train is already gone. Don’t hold on to it.
Sticking to resolution may look difficult. But it’s not impossible. By organizing your journey, you can reach your destination. You may have to face some bruises & bumps, yet eventually, you will reach there.
Cherish your journey.
Do write to me at [email protected], if you face any bumps.
Share with us how your resolution journey was in the comment section below. Your journey can be an inspiration to others.