Wrestling With Resolutions

It’s about now (mid January) that you’re over the euphoria of setting a New Year resolution and you’re wrestling to keep it on track.

According to the NZ Herald 55% of Kiwis make New Year resolutions but more than 33% do not keep them. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me and I’m sure it’s no surprise to you either. You’re probably also not surprised to learn that 35% of all resolutions are broken by the end of January (Franklin Covey 2007 survey).

So if your New Year resolution hasn’t quite hit the mat, here are three things you can do to help grapple with (or revive) them.

1. Write down your resolutions and why you are doing them.
Writing down your resolutions will hold you accountable as it’s more difficult to change what you’ve written than it is to change your mind. 🙂 Also be as clear as you can when recording the ‘why’ of your resolutions because this is what will keep you focussed. You may also want to put resolutions where you can easily see them (perhaps on your work desk or the fridge).

2. Do one thing every day towards achieving your resolutions.
Having a plan and breaking it into small steps or stages is important so you can measure your progress without being overwhelmed by the bigger goal. But the real key to success is to doing something towards achieving your resolution every day.

A daily action will provide a sense of achievement and carry you through to the next day. These can be as simple as packing your gym bag, scheduling time to read, organising a meeting etc. As the Chinese proverb says “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”

3. Find a tag-team partner
A tag-team partner is someone who works with you to achieve the same goal. They don’t need to participate in your resolutions but they are the type of person who will encourage you and keep you going in the right direction. It may be a colleague, partner, or professional such as a personal trainer or life coach. Having a tag-team partner will strengthen your resolve and commitment towards your resolution, and provide the encouragement you need when the going gets tough.

I encourage you to persevere, after all it is only the middle of January! Don’t let your resolutions fall by the wayside without at least trying the above suggestions. So to make it super easy for you, why not tick off the first suggestion by including it as a comment to this post (you can remain anonymous if you prefer).

PS. My personal New Year resolution is to cycle from Cape Reinga to Wellington on my exercycle to become fitter, lose weight and *meet* friends along the way. I’ve passed Kaitaia and two cycling buddies have just joined me.

  Breaking a large concept into manageable chunks” was the most valuable aspect of The Cheat’s Guide to Project Management says Carla Eastham, HB Williams Memorial Library.


  1. I like this, Sally! I don’t usually make New Years resolutions for this reason but this year I decided I needed some direction so I made some, but only work related. I printed them out in a pretty format and stuck them on a prominent place by my computer. Now I’m reminded of them every single day and have already noticed a difference in my work day.

    1. Sally says:

      Good luck Julia! I think it’s important to be reminded of them regularly as it keeps you focussed.

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