So, how are those New Year's resolutions coming along? It’s February now and you should be seeing all of these amazing changes in your life. You have achieved so much because you made that commitment on December 31 that was going to change your life. How’s that working out for you?

For most, not too well. The positive goals, while realistic and well intended, that were set just a little over 30 days ago have long been forgotten. We went back to how things used to be, as this was familiar, and therefore, comfortable.

New Year's resolutions will fail. They are meant to be this trending thing that advertisers use to promote the very thing that will change your life. Additionally, it seems rather superficial to create these significant changes just because the calendar changes.

But all hope is not lost.

Why not try to create a plan for your life that incorporates the changes you would like to make? This can start December 31, or January 1 or whatever day you choose. It can be more thought out and achievable by following these simple steps.

  • Take an inventory of your life over the past 12 months. What did you learn about yourself last year? Identify what strengths and what weaknesses you learned you have. This isn’t the time to start bashing yourself. If there was something you did not do, take a look at what prevented you from doing it in the first place. Fear is often the culprit, or not wanting to leave that very familiar place. Taking an inventory will avoid the need for regrets, as these will suck the energy out of you. Be fair and objective with yourself.
  • Now that we know you are a strong person, how can you triple down on the strengths you learned that you have? Too often we are so paralyzed by our perceived weaknesses that we focus more on those than we do on our strengths. This life-plan strategy is all about building you up for success, and you can only do that by building upon what is already good about you.
  • Have some simple behavioral strategies that you can pull out of your back pocket to reinforce your plan when life happens. Many of us do not accomplish (or even start) those amazing goals and changes in our lives because we project to the endgame and fear the immensity of it. With anything we undertake, the best thing to do for ourselves is to break it down into the very next manageable chunk and build upon each chunk. Then, when life happens, remind yourself you only need to accomplish the next chunk towards the goal.
  • Facing your demons is really a strength-building exercise. That voice of fear likes to make an appearance when we are doing something good for ourselves. This voice will remind us of all the many times we have failed as a reason why we can’t do this. Transform your demons into catalysts for change. Be stubborn about your life plan. Let the demons know they won’t win because all they are are a voice. A strong voice, sure, but just a voice. You are a strong person who is capable of more than you think.
  • Do self-checks to hold yourself accountable. In the mental health field, we have something called a treatment plan. Goals identified on the treatment plan are reviewed for progress, or lack thereof. In a different manner, assign yourself some time frames to check in with yourself to see how you are doing. Some of these check-ins could be daily (i.e., committing to 30 minutes of exercise a day) or weekly. See how well you are doing and, if all is not on track, what could you be doing differently. You can also corral one of your friends to hop on as an accountability partner, especially if they are working on their own life plan.
  • Have a mantra for your life plan. This mantra will keep you in the mental, emotional, and/or spiritual energy of your life plan. You can borrow any that you have encountered in the past or simply create one of your own. It’s super simple and so easy to use at any given time. Make it cute. Make it funny. Make it whatever you want to remind you what it is that you are setting yourself to do to emerge victorious any time of the year.

Tags: New Years, 2021, New Years eve, resolutions, New Years resolutions, life plan, changes, diet, exercise,