Three Secrets to Keeping New Year’s Resolutions
Posted On Jan 13, 2022
Almost everyone tries to start a new year with a New Year’s resolution. But so few follow through on them. In fact, less than 8% of people actually fulfill them. So, what’s the secret to being successful? Dr. Julie Elledge is both a coach and an instructor (she teaches professional coaches to become better coaches at Mentor Agility). She has advice for anyone who wants to use New Year’s resolutions to improve their life. Here are her top tips.
Focus On Changing Your Life Story
Too many people think of a resolution as a quick fix like, ‘I’m going to lose 5 pounds’ or ‘I’m going to give up chocolate. Those resolutions are too easy to break, according to Dr. Elledge, because they don’t reflect a change in their life stories. So, when you break them, it’s not a big deal.
“A New Year’s resolution should guide people to evolve their life stories,” said Dr. Elledge. “Everyone sees their lives as a story. So a New Year’s resolution should reflect an evolution of their story that they can direct.”
She added, “Strange as it seems, the more life-changing your resolutions are, the more likely you will achieve them. A positive change in your life story will think about far more often because you internalize it more strongly.”
Follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
By focusing on higher-order needs, you make your resolutions life-changing, according to Elledge. So, instead of resolving to “lose 5 pounds,” resolve to “improve your health to improve your life.” Instead of “getting a girlfriend or boyfriend,” resolve to make all of your relationships flourish. ANd Instead of resolving “to keep a journal,” resolve to make your mind thrive.
Write Down “Three Gems”
To simplify your higher-order resolutions, you need to simplify their execution. For these resolutions, focus on what Dr. Elledge calls “Three gems.” She recommends writing down these three gems and posting them somewhere that will allow you to see them each day.
“If you read these gems every day, they will become part of your daily thought processes,” said Dr. Elledge. “Over time, they will guide you to improve your life through your resolution.”
For example, three gems for flourishing relationships would be play, intimacy, and service. “These are the foundations of your power,” she added. “Too often, we give away our power by blaming others for our feelings and actions. Figuring out where you are to blame is your source of empowerment. Where you can improve your thinking or your actions forces change within your relationships.”
Other examples include purpose, creativity, and nature for a thriving mind. Meanwhile, exercising, eating, and sleep are three gems for good health. “These are the foundations upon which life is built,” said Dr. Elledge. “Begin with a self-check to see how you are doing. Then think about what would challenge you.”