If you want to know how to actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions – probably for the first time ever – in 2023, look no further!
My name is Dr. Karin Nordin and I have a Ph.D. in Health Communication, the study of behavior change. I specifically focus on mindset and I’m here to give you the science behind self-help. Today, I’m going to give you 4 tips that you’ve probably never heard before. They are going to help you actually stick with your New Year’s resolutions in 2023.
Before I start, I want to mention that if you don’t even know what resolution to set, I can help! It’s important to set a goal that’s effective and easy to follow through on. Read this post or watch this video about how to set effective goals for some extra guidance.
Calendar Before Commitment to your Resolutions
Alright, tip #1 for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions in 2023 is to put your calendar before your commitment.
What do I mean by that? I want you to pull out your 2023 calendar and I want you to fill it out with
- Your kids’ school vacations
- Your appointments
- That major surgery your brother-in-law is having
I want you to get a clear idea of what is happening in 2023 before you set any resolutions.
This is so important because so many people, when they set goals, don’t take into account real-life circumstances. But life is going to get lifey and you have to be prepared for that in order to succeed.
Now, all of the things happening in your life don’t necessarily mean you can’t pursue a certain goal. But you do need to be aware of your circumstances before you make the commitment.
So tip #1 is to scan your calendar before making a commitment.
Record The Daily Process of the Pursuit of Your Resolutions
Tip #2 is to write down the daily process of pursuing that goal before you commit to it. I want you to really think:
On your worst day and on your best day, what is that going to look like?
What sacrifices are you going to have to make?
For example, let’s say that the goal that you want to pursue is to run a marathon:
- Maybe there’s not much time available in your schedule. You may have to give up some sleep at night or wake up super early to squeeze in your runs.
- On your long run days, you’ll probably be tired in the afternoon, which might make you unfocused at work.
So often when we set a resolution, we’re excited about and committed to the outcome… but not equally clear and excited about the process it takes to get there. We set big goals, but never stop to consider whether we’re actually prepared for the day-to-day requirements of pursuing that goal. In these cases our brains often say, Hey...so, it’s March now, and we really don’t want to do this work anymore. Let’s just abandon this resolution and try again next year.
Engage Social Support to Hold You Accountable to your Resolutions
Moving into the actual day-to-day process of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, tip #3 is to engage social support. Studies show that when we have a strong sense of community surrounding our goals, we tend to:
- Be more committed to our goals.
- Persevere through challenges.
What exactly could that look like? Well, I’ll give you a personal example:
One year, as a resolution, I decided to pick up a new healthy habit every single month. So, I called up my cousin, who is a very good friend, and asked if she wanted to join me. She said yes! Every single month we sat down together and talked about what habit we were going to pick up. We anticipated obstacles and kept in touch throughout the month to support and hold each other accountable.
If you don’t have a solid network of social support interested in personal development, I highly suggest checking out Alliance, our one-on-one behavior change coaching program. You’ll work with a coach who will give you weekly feedback, education, and tips. They will also hold you accountable for your goals. Don’t miss that sense of support. If you can’t get it somewhere else, we can absolutely provide it for you.
Leverage Environmental Changes to Stick with Your New Year’s Resolutions
Tip #4 – actually a really fun one – is to leverage environmental changes in order to help you pursue your goal.
Research shows that when we enter a new environment, some of our habits tend to reset. If you travelled for the holidays, arriving home is an opportunity to make environmental changes that support your goals. For example, that might look like this:
- Take all the leggings that you use for running and put them in the most accessible drawer in your closet.
- Reorganize your fridge so that the vegetables are where you see them, instead of jammed into the crisper drawer.
- Print progress trackers and put them in a really obvious space like your bathroom mirror or on your desk.
No matter what your goal is, I want you to ask yourself:
How can I change my environment so it is impossible to forget about this goal?
How can I make it easier to do it than it is to not do it?
How I Can Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
If you have a goal and you need some environmental adjustment suggestions, write your goal in the comments. I will personally answer you and give you some suggestions to help you actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
As someone who’s worked with hundreds of clients on different goals, trust me,
there are some really creative ways we can shift your environment to help set you up for success.
One thing I didn’t touch on in this post is self-accountability. You have to hold yourself accountable to actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions… but a lot of us never learned that skill. If you want to learn more about self-accountability, read this post or watch this video about how to hold yourself accountable. It’s full of science-backed steps that will help you build skills, amplify these tips, and make your New Year’s resolution a success.
Also, make sure to check back next week, because I’ve got new posts coming on tons of different specific resolutions and tips for achieving each and every one of them.