12/28/2013 05:02 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Ideas to Help You Keep Your New Year Resolutions


It is common for people to make new year resolutions at the start of the year and "sort of" forget what those resolutions were by the end of February. But YOU could do this differently. Here are seven ideas to help you keep your new year resolutions

Idea #1: You can't do it alone

You rarely make a resolution that is too simple to keep because, really, why would you need a resolution for something simple?

The moment your resolution is of any significance, assume that you need good help. Assume that you can't keep that resolution on your own. Bring your support structure to bear and go all out.

Remember that breaking your resolution is not a one-time problem. Every time you break one, you are sending a signal to yourself that you are a type of person who breaks resolutions. Keep doing this and soon you will stop believing that you can Keep ANY resolutions in the future.

Get the HELP you need to keep the resolutions.

Idea #2. Others need help too

Look at any research on this topic and you will find that very few people keep new year's resolutions. Your friends are no different. Proactively lend a hand to help them keep their resolutions.

The side effect?

It will do two things:
  • Your friends may be annoyed at first but will thank you later for giving them the push they badly needed.
  • You will automatically feel responsible to keep your resolutions because if you don't do that what right do you have to meddle with resolutions of others?

Idea #3: Harder you work, luckier you get

Luck is as random as it can get but hard work will surely help to increase the odds of you getting lucky.

Serendipity has a place in everybody's life but they have to play their part for serendipity to play it's part.

Avoid hard work and you can forget about keeping your resolutions. It seems that simple but there is no other way of saying it.

Idea #4: Knowing is not doing but doing is doing

With so much of free information on the web, "knowing what to do" is not an issue for you. It is in doing where all the work is involved. Being aware of it and being prepared to do ALL the work it takes to keep your resolutions helps.


Think about how long you took to make one resolution - probably a few seconds or a few minutes at best. You already know that you can't keep that resolution as quickly as you made it.

Here is a simple trick. For every resolution in your list make an estimate of the total number of hours you need to spend in the next year to keep it. Put that number right in front of that resolution and think again - can you REALLY commit to spending that kind of time to keep that resolution? If not, it is time to revisit that resolution.

Remember to not committing to any resolution until you are willing to commit to investing the time to keep that resolution.

Idea #5: There is magic in the movement

Once you know what to do and actually do what is required, you should be done, right?

That would be a miracle as plans rarely work out as you imagined they would. The key is to keep going after making the necessary changes to the plan. The magic is really in the movement.

As we both know, the most adaptable are the ones that survive and thrive.

Idea #6: If they can do it, MAY BE you can do it

This one is more of a warning to avoid a trap: It is very easy to think if they can do it, you can do it too.

If you are inspired by someone else and your resolution was based on what they have achieved, it's time to rethink and revisit the resolution. What you can see about the other person is whatever is publicly visible. It's only a tip of iceberg. What is underneath is all the hard work that they have put in when no one is watching them.

Think independently and make sure that you are willing to sign up for the whole deal - what you can see from outside and what might be required behind the scenes to make that something happen.

Idea #7: Experience joy in DOING the work

Several years ago, I made a switch in the way I look at work. Rather than expecting to be happy when I get an outcome, I started experiencing joy when I am DOING the work. That has helped me big time in happily achieving many goals. The idea comes from ancient Indian scriptures where the approach is to never shy away from work (Karma Yoga) and at the same time never get attached to the outcomes.

If you forget everything just implement this one idea and you will notice the ease and calmness with which you will work through your resolutions.

Last but not the least, if you want to take a quick look at my take on metrics that matter most for 2014, you can find it here.