Salvage Your Failed New Year’s Resolution

It’s already the end of February and boy how time flies! According to FranklinCovey over 1/3 of people who make New Year’s resolutions ditch them by the end of January.  How are you faring with your resolution?

If you have given up on your goals, have faith. Here are a few helpful tips to a more successful year:

  1. Resolution Versus Lifestyle

The first issue lies in the fact that resolutions fail because of the mentality surrounding them. Do not wait until the end of this year to create another goal with a start date. Rather, decide on a lifestyle change right now.

Photo courtesy of Brain Harmony Center

The act of selecting dates and expectations can cause a sense of pressure that easily sets us up for disappointment before we barely begin. In contrast, incorporating a goal into your everyday life allows for long-term progress and room for a few setbacks. We all know that change often results in some degree of failure. Ease up and start with smaller, more manageable goals. Think about what small thing you can do today that is easy, so that you may follow with the next simple step tomorrow.

2.   Break it Down

Part of changing your resolution into a life style is breaking it down.  Make a diagram and begin with your goal at the top. Follow by brainstorming two smaller goals that contribute to the overall concept. Proceed to break down each until you have more concrete, mini goals to work with. Keep this diagram hung up somewhere as a reminder of the little changes you would like to make that will contribute to your resolution.

Here is an example:

As you accomplish those mini concrete goals increase/make them slightly more frequent or challenging for further progression.

3.   Ask for Encouragement

A smart person knows that support is a good thing in overcoming obstacles. Ask your friends, neighbors, family or coworkers to help you out.

Select a few responsible and supportive folks to share your failed resolution with. Ask them to gently “get on your case” to stick with it. Have these reliable people email, call or text you on a scheduled basis to check in with you and give words of encouragement. This creates a positive pressure to keep going.

4.   Read Literature

Typically a drastic change involves stepping into unchartered territory. Since you have not been successful at it, you may need to educate yourself in this matter. Read up on whatever it is that you want to accomplish whether it be through blogs, books, magazines, or newsletters.

Subscribe to blogs that speak to you. Spend your morning commute on the bus reading a downloaded book on your smartphone/tablet. Join a forum where people share ideas and research. This not only increases your understanding of the matter, but also keeps it in the front of your mind.

Image courtesy of Health Effects of

Example: If you are trying to quit smoking, reading up on the smoking industry or techniques that have worked for others could inspire you.

5.   Schedule yourself

To simply say, “I am going to do this,” puts you at risk for procrastination. Many endeavors result in big flops because we use the excuse of being too busy.

Whether using your phone, computer, or paper calendar, schedule yourself time every week. This is a way of clearing out time and enforcing a no excuses rule.

6.   Visuals, Visuals, Visuals

Out of sight out of mind is something that truly resonates in terms of accomplishing goals. This is a great strategy for anyone who is a visual learner, forgetful, or has an overbooked schedule.

Go though magazines, online image searches and catalogs for anything that will remind you of great ideas in accomplishing whatever you desire.

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For example, if you hope to be more organized cut out clippings of organization concepts from home catalogs and tape them next to your closets and storage areas. It will be a guideline for upkeep so you don’t drop the ball.

Don’t give up whatever it is that you hope to do to better your life. Don’t wait until December 31, and start today!