Events, Lifestyle, Mind, 03.01.2017

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work… And What to Do Instead

Selina from Project Love is back on the Frame blog chatting about why she thinks you’re better off skipping the New Year’s resolutions this year and what you can do instead to make sure 2017 is still your year…

If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s New Year’s Resolutions. They make my heart sink at the start of the new year.

Why? Because I know they just don’t work. And it’s not just me – there is plenty of research to prove it. One study done in America found that just 8% of people actually did what they had set out to achieve at the start of the year and another study found that almost 50% of people who had written New Year’s resolutions, had given up on them within the first month.

As a life design coach, seeing people scribble down those dreams and goals down at the start of the year knowing they will probably be forgotten by the time we hit February is heartbreaking.

So, what should you do instead? You’re only eight steps away from the solution…

Focus on how you want to feel in the coming year
Rather than writing a list of things that you think you want to do or – worse – think you should do in 2017, start with how you want to feel. Because behind every dream and goal is a desire to feel a certain way. So get clear on how you want to feel in each area of your life and work outwards from there.

Get clear on what your key happiness and fulfillment ingredients are
Rather than looking at the people around you, on Instagram and in magazines to give you ideas of what you would like to include in the year ahead, first get clear on what YOU need to feel happy and fulfilled in life. And then ask yourself what you need to do to fill your life with those ingredients

Picture it
Find or create a picture that sums up what you want your year to be all about, what you want it to be full of and what you want to achieve.

You’ll be much better at keeping an image in your head than a to-do list. With an image you can put it as a screensaver, stick it up on your wall or have it in the front of your notebook so that it acts as a regular source of inspiration and reminder of what you are wanting to create in your life.

Use the magic of commitment
One of the reasons that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work is that there is usually no real commitment to them. They are too often a rather half-hearted list of things you think you should do, rather than a powerful vision of the life you want to create for yourself and a commitment from you that you are going to do what it takes to bring that vision to life.

So write down a line or two of what you are committed to making 2017 all about and what that will involve and really mean it.

Make a plan of action
Another reason why New Year’s resolutions don’t work is that people write down a list of things they would like to achieve and then leave it at that… As if they’d ordered something on Amazon and now just need to wait for it to arrive. Creating the life you want to live isn’t as easy as that, or we’d all be at it. If you want to create your life a certain way, make changes, make things happen, then you have to make a plan of action.

If your ambitions for 2017 are big, or if you are wanting to transform an area of your life and you don’t know where to start, then sit down with a friend who’s good at stuff like this or a coach and have them help you create a plan of action that you can get stuck into.

Use your calendar as your canvas
If you want to design a life you love in 2017 – whether you have plans to make big things happen or you simply want to have more fun – then your calendar needs to become your best friend. It is your number one tool when it comes to life design. When you look at your commitment to 2017, ask yourself what actions you need to take daily, weekly, monthly and once this year to honour that commitment and bring your dream for 2017 to life. And then get those actions planted firmly in your diary and only let an absolute emergency be a good enough reason to have to reschedule those commitments.

Declare your 2017 commitment publically
There is power in sharing our commitments with others. As we declare them they suddenly become more real. When you tell your friends down at the pub that this is the year you are going to run a marathon then you are for more likely to now feel the pressure to really make it happen or you’ll have your friends to answer to.

Get yourself a partner in crime
If you know that you have a tendency to knock commitments to yourself off of your calendar the moment someone invites you out for a drink or if you’re not feeling in the mood, then invite a friend to support you in sticking to your commitments to create the life you want to live in 2017. Ideally team up with someone who has their own commitments and who would also need support with sticking to them.

Check in with one another once a week or fortnight and let them know how you’ve been getting on, so that they can cheer you on and when you do fall off track (as you will from time to time), they can encourage you to get back on track.

And every action you take towards bringing your 2017 dream to life, take a moment to give yourself a high five, because you are doing what 82% of people don’t ever manage: you are turning your 2017 dreams into your reality.

Sign up to Project Love’s FREE new year planner, Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017, and come and join Vicki and Selina at Frame King’s Cross on 12th January at 7.30pm for a ‘Design a Life You Love’ workshop where you’ll get clear on what you want to make your 2017 all about and come away with a plan on how you’re going to make that happen. Book your spot here >