Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick, Start with Why

Good bye 2015 and hello 2016! As the New Year gets underway, it is a time for reflection and planning. If you are like me, in the second week of the year, New Year’s Resolutions don’t always carry the same weight they did on January 1st.

We start the year with the best of intentions. We will get in shape, eat healthier, get our finances in order, spend more time with loved ones, put our phones down at the family dinner table, actually sit at the dinner table, etc.

Unfortunately, most of us fall short of our New Year’s Resolutions. Some of us may already be off track! If you want to make your New Year’s Resolutions stick, start with Why!

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A New Year’s Resolution or goal in general is great thing to aspire to. Goals can push us to be better, more thoughtful, more present, more loving versions of ourselves. We set goals with the best of intentions but often fall short. I believe this happens because we don’t take the time to truly answer why this goal is important to us in the first place.

So you are starting 2016 with a new lease on life and you have decided that you want to be in better shape. Awesome!….. but why?

Take a moment to go through this exercise.

Ask yourself: Why is getting in shape (insert your goal) important to you?

Perhaps your answer is: Because I want more energy. Cool …. and now go deeper.

Why is having more energy important to you?

I want more energy so I can actively play with my children.

Keep recycling this question until you cannot possibly go deeper. This will help you truly understand your WHY that is driving your goal. Once you are there. Write it down. Writing it down helps make your Why real.

Once you know your why, figure out how you will accomplish your goal

So you want to get in shape and you know why, now it is time to plan how you will achieve this goal.

First, give yourself as specific a goal as you can. Getting in shape can mean something different to everyone. What does that really mean to you? It may mean losing weight, it may mean being able to do 100 push-ups, it may mean looking amazing in your favorite pair of jeans, or it may mean feeling more energized. Only you will know your answer. The key is to make it as specific as you can.

Second, now that you have a better sense of what you want to accomplish, its time to figure out how you are going to do it.

Maybe you want to get in better shape by running 3 days a week and going to yoga once a week. Having a plan that is specific is a good start, now make it real by scheduling it into your week.

I will run on Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon, and Saturday afternoon. I will go to yoga on Sunday morning.

To make it even more concrete, tell a friend about your goal and your plan so someone can hold you accountable along the way. Making goals public increases your chance for success.

Even better, enlist a friend to go on this journey with you so you have someone to rely upon and be relied upon when life happens, and it will.

If you want your goals to come to life, take the time to know you why you’re setting the goal, get specific about your goal, and enlist the help of other to hold yourself accountable.

So what you are you going to shoot for in 2016? And why is it important to you?