How to Stick to the New Year’s Resolutions You Made in January

Executing on Plans / March 3, 2020 / Kristie

Remember those New Year’s resolutions you set a few months ago? Have you been sticking to them? With the year well on its way, it’s now time to check in! If this idea fills you with dread because you’ve been struggling to stay on track, you’re not alone.

animated character with light bulb idea working on macbook

Thousands of small business owners face the same problems. Creating change can be frustrating, overwhelming, and may even feel pointless, but we’re here to show you how to start making new habits you can actually stick to.

The good news is, you don’t need to wait until next January to try again. In fact, monthly or quarterly check-ins on your New Year’s Resolutions or any goals you’ve set are crucial to actually succeeding. The beginning of the year may feel like a great time to get to start over, but it’s really never too late – beating yourself up over another failed resolution isn’t the answer. If you feel like you missed the boat, use our method below to get back on track!

Reassess your situation

What goals did you set for the new year? Take a step back and look at the big picture. Did you prioritize the right things that align with your goals? Maybe you didn’t set a realistic goal. Was your goal specific and attainable? Maybe you find the goal really is achievable, but you just need a new strategy. Are you forgetting the larger goal or getting sucked into the day-to-day tasks instead? Reassessing your situation will give you some new perspective on how to move forward. You’ve probably encountered new problems and situations that you may not have taken into account before. With your constantly evolving hindsight, stopping to reassess every month or quarter gives you the flexibility to make small adjustments and take the things not working out of the equation.

Align your goals and behaviours

Now, you need to align your goals with the specific activities you must complete to reach them. Let’s say you started the year wanting to streamline some of your small business processes. That’s a great overall goal, but what are you specifically going to do to get there? What have you already done? Evaluating your progress so far lets you get a good look into what’s working and what isn’t. Do you need to start doing something, or stop doing something? Evaluate where you’ve spent most of your time – are you investing your time in the behaviours that are aligning with your goal or are you falling into old habits and saying “yes” to too many things instead of focusing and saying “no”? You’ll need to make an actionable and measurable plan to be able to follow through.

Reinvest in the plan

Giving up on goals and the new behaviours associated with reaching them is easy – we all get overwhelmed and slip back into our usual habits, mostly without even noticing. Change is just plain hard! You need to reinvest in both the goal you set and the ways you planned to get there. You want to avoid investing too much time in something that doesn’t work, which is why specific goals you can actually measure are so important. By checking in consistently, you’re giving yourself a constant reminder of why you’ve made certain investments in the first place without having to worry that you’re wasting your time.

Making a plan doesn’t need to be rocket science. To get started, ask yourself the following:

  • What does success look like?
  • How will I know I’ve achieved success?
  • What metrics or results do I plan to achieve?

You can answer these questions without getting overwhelmed by keeping it simple and remembering you already know what you want! It’s just a matter of how you’re going to get there. For example:

What does success look like?

I will have increased revenue by closing more deals.

How will I know I’ve achieved success?

My team will have closed more deals this quarter than last year.

What metrics or results will do I plan to achieve?

My team will have increased the close rate to 65% this quarter.

Now that you’re sure about what you want and have some clarity, you can actually move on to the process of creating the habits around your goals that will actually stick.

Get serious about new habits

As James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, points out, your daily life is a sum of your habits. So, too, is your work. At the end of the day, no goal you want to be intentional about achieving is going to happen without changing your behaviours. Forming new and productive habits that you want to implement is a big struggle for many of us. If it were easy, we would already have implemented every resolution or goal, but we haven’t.

We’ve built a 4-step strategy that will help you finally not only create the new habits that will lead you to achieve your goals and resolutions but actually make them stick in the longterm.

The 4-Step Strategy

  1. Find your why
  2. Find your obstacles
  3. Form the new habit
  4. Hold yourself accountable

About the author:
Kristie Holden is an online marketing consultant. She helps startups get more leads by clarifying their message and creating a marketing strategy to attract and convert their ideal client. Connect with her on Instagram.

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