How To Love Your New Year Resolutions

It’s a new year, and time to set those New Year Resolution’s so why not focus on what makes us happy! Gone are the days of restriction and despair.Jumping for joy in front of the Eiffel Tower that it is time to set my new year resolution, by Ladywarrior

What is a new year resolution?

A new year resolution, most commonly practiced in the Western hemisphere,  traditionally consists of writing out goals to accomplish something personal or change an undesired behavior.  A new year resolution is intended to improve your life.

Sounds pretty simple right?  WRONG.  The cold hard facts about new year resolutions is that we actually set ourselves up for failure.

Why, because we don’t know how to look at these resolutions and feel happy about them.  We don’t know what exercising more, eating healthy, trying to save money, quitting smoking etc. is going to look like for us.  Also, at the end of the day, well actually by mid February, 80% of us have given up for one reason or another.

 Commonly made new year resolutions:Yellow sticky notes with new year resolutions written on them.

Why do new year resolutions fail?

Our resolutions fail for different reasons.

  1. They are not specific enough, the goals are broad and you don’t have a real plan to meet them.
  2. You begin to feel overwhelmed, you feel like the road to the goal is too long.
  3. Your impatient and want the change to happen over night, but a goal is something we have to work for.
  4. At the end of the day you are just not ready to make the change necessary to reach and stick to your goal.

So why not set yourself up for success?

Why not set yourself up with new year resolutions that are going to excite you, get you motivated, and reward you once they are accomplished? Be specific when you set your goals!

And please remember that these goals and aspirations DO NOT HAVE to be completed by the end of January of the new year.

You have ALL YEAR to achieve happiness and success and I am going to give you 5 good ideas of how you can LOVE your new year resolutions.

Stager Goals Throughout The Year

Remember, you have 12 months to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions.  Pace yourself and have 1-2 goals per month.  Rather than trying to set and work on ALL of you goals starting in January and burning out, space them throughout the year.

Just remember that you have an entire year to reach our goals.  If you want to exercise more, save money, stop drinking soda, visit your family more, spend less time on your phone, just pick a goal.  Set a date to accomplish the goal, and then move to the next one.

For example, in January, set the goal to stop drinking soda.  Once you have achieved this goal, set your next goal in February to begin working out more.  Moving on to March, set your next goal you want to accomplish (e.g., saving money from each paycheck).  The point is avoid “stacking” items into an exhaustive list you feel you need to do ALL in January.  Pace yourself.  Have 1 goal per month.  By the end of the year, you’ll have had 12 goals/resolutions that you have accomplished (or at least working on).

Consider also the resolution of getting in shape.  Many times we want to just to the gym and get in shape.  However, by February or March we see ourselves spending less time at the gym? I believe this is because we plan to “GO TO” the Gym but fail to plan what we will “DO AT THE GYM.”  This causes frustration and burnout.  Selecting a good fitness plan that can carry you throughout the year is one way to increase your effectiveness.

For example, the website provides a fitness quiz to provide you with personalized workouts and meal plans.  The fitness quiz is simple and provides a workout that takes about 3 months to finish.  When you finish, then you move onto to the next fitness workout plan.  It’s like a fitness funnel – you get into the funnel and start working out and as you progress throughout the year, you’ll be moved through the fitness funnel . This is a great way to stagger your workout.


This way you can stagger your goals throughout the year and not burn yourself out in one month trying to accomplish them all.

The Rule of 3 – Look Foward to Something Every 3 Months. 

 The rule of 3’s (months) is simple and easy to implement.  Every three months you set a goal that cause you to look forward to something (trip, girls/guys night out, finishing a book, a day at the spa etc).  We all have those days where we feel down, depressed, or maybe in the dumps.  Looking forward to something is one way to fight the dangerous “D’s” (e.g,. depression, despair, and discouragement). It works in my life and I highly recommend the Rule of 3.

provides you the opportunity to really do something fun and you’ll always having something to look forward to using 3 month increments.  For example, if you plan a trip 3 months down the road and you want to get into shape you have a purpose to begin or get more serious about working out and getting in shape.

If you haven’t been out with the girls or guys forever, plan a fun night 3 months ahead to give everyone time to look over their schedules and make arrangements to make the night happen, or every 3 months have a day of relaxation and go get a massage or a manicure and pedicure to unwind from the day to day grind.

Consider, for example, if you planned a trip.  Let’s actually start with month two in this scenario.  In month two, the anticipation builds and you finish planning your trip.  In month three the build up is “real” with much anticipation and you finally go on your trip.  In month 1, you return home and recover from being exhausted from the trip. How many times have you heard someone say “Phew, I need a vacation from my vacation.”

So, you use month 1 to recover and start planning the next vacation.  Remember, these don’t have to be big vacations too – they can be quick overnighters or weekend get aways just to unwind.  The point is you are always looking forward to something.

By following the rule of 3’s you will be setting new year resolutions that you look forward to and make you happy.

Also, the rule of 3’s of going on vacation will also help your other goals such as, for example, a fitness plan.  You’ll always want to keep working out if you know you’ll be at the beach, the pool, or a cruise at least 3 or 4 times a year!! See how magical all of these resolutions can be and work together to help each other (e.g., the rule of 3 helps the fitness goal, a bucket list goal, or whatever else you may set as a new year resolution).

Reward Yourself

This is one of my favorites! Once you have accomplished a resolution reward yourself with something for reaching that goal.  In terms of fitness, if you lost 5 pounds after doing your workout challenge then go out and buy yourself a new workout outfit to reward your behavior.

It is similar to what we say to our kids, ” if you eat your vegetables, you can have a treat after dinner,” we are rewarding them for eating their vegetables.

Implementing this kind of rewards system throughout the year, you are giving yourself affirmation and you will start to create a habit of setting goals and rewarding yourself in a good way, which in turn will get you excited about the next goal you set.

Set A New Year Resolution With A Friend

Make a goal with a friend, stay accountable and make a resolution with a friend that you can help each other accomplish.

How many times do you say to your spouse, bestie, or co-worker “oh, we should go do that…it looks so much fun” only to then offer that sigh of “…if only we had time.”  Psshh! Stop “wishing” your life away and JUST DO IT! Set a goal to go on that cruise, visit NYC to see that Broadway play, train for that 1/2 marathon, or whatever you want.  Select your spouse, friend, or someone willing to commit to that common goal and together set the course of action to accomplish the goal.

For example, I have a bestie that I try to do something with each year.  Last year we went to Dubai.  My husband actually tells me to do stuff with her and have our “girl time.”  So, this year, we are setting the goal to hike Machu Picchu and visit the Rainbow Mountain in Peru.  So excited!!!

We are planning to visit in the late Spring (the non-rainy season) and are in the process of scheduling time off work and booking flights and hotels.  See, a resolution is just a resolve to do “something” and this year my bestie and I are planning a trip (again).

Create Fun, Exciting New Year Resolutions 

Think Bucket List.  Have you always wanted to do something on your bucket list?  Have you wanted to spend more time doing something you are good at and want to improve on? Set these as your New Year’s resolutions and check off something from your bucket list.   

Our bucket list is what we want to do, things we want to achieve, dreams we want to fulfill, and life experiences we want to experience before we can’t make them happen or we die.

New years is the perfect time to set one or two of your bucket list items as part of your new year resolutions.  This keeps us in check with what is important and directs our goals towards what matters to us.

By setting one or two of your bucket list goals as your new year resolutions the excitement and happiness you will feel as you plan for them to come to fruition.  So if you want to read one book a month for an entire year then make a list of those books and make sure you have them on hand.

If you want to ride horses on the beach, research the best sandy white beaches and the time of year it is best to travel to that area to get the most out of your buck list/new year resolution experience.

Are new year resolutions good?

Yes!  They are a way to help us do something for ourselves and remind us what is important in our lives.

They allow us time to get organized and reflect on how far we have come throughout the year and gives us the skills of setting goals and accomplishing them.

If you learn to love your new year resolution(s) by viewing them as a positive aspect in your life and something that will bring happiness rather than make you feel discouraged, you find that your goals become your ally and you are able to achieve what is important in your life.

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