5 Tips for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

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2023 has been such a rough year, hasn’t it?

Take a look back and think of all the things that have happened. No matter how hard it has been, we managed to pull through.

I can’t wait for the next year to start, can you?

The new year also means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions, for all of us to set goals and strive to become better people!

But change does not come easy, and tons of people find themselves giving up on their New Year’s Resolutions even before January ends.

That’s where we come in!

We’re here to tell you how to make your goals and stick to them!

TL;DR: How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

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We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

Even if we weren’t the ones who failed to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions, we probably have seen or heard our friends or family who fell short and could not keep up with their resolutions.

But why do they fail?

You see, the main reason why New Year’s Resolutions fail is that our mindsets are rejecting that change.

Eventually, we just give up on the resolution we have made altogether as a result.

Different people have different reasons why their mindsets are rejecting that change.

You will only be able to change that mindset and stick to the goals you have made for the year when you understand why you are rejecting that change.

How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Everyone wants to see changes in their life, but sometimes it can be just so hard, especially for the New Year’s Resolutions we have set out to achieve.

Even so, you definitely didn’t plan these New Year Resolutions with them failing in mind, did you?

So here are some tips to help ensure you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions this year!

1. Plan Ahead: Do Not Make New Year’s Resolutions Impulsively

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“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”

We often let the sudden rush of excitement from the New Year take over us, and as a result, we make our New Year’s Resolutions without a proper plan.

What happens next is that we try to push ourselves towards something unachievable in our current state.

Or perhaps some details of the resolutions are not clearly defined, and we become loose on the rules we have to follow.

That’s why we need a solid plan before we start setting our New Year’s Resolutions, so we have a clear idea of what we want to accomplish from it.

Open up your favourite journaling app or grab a pen and notepad. Take time to think about your New Year’s Resolution and what you want to achieve from it.

Overall, just make sure you have a solid plan for achieving your New Year’s Resolution, and you can be sure it will last for the long term.

2. Narrow it Down

There were so many methods out there that could teach me how to stick to my goals, but I found myself gearing towards the method by one of the venerated figures in the personal finance sphere – Mr Warren Buffett.

All of us have limited energy and attention to the things around us.

With more choices than ever today, it is easy to get distracted and lose focus.

Because of this, it is also increasingly difficult to dedicate sufficient time to hone a skill to a high level of competency.

By allowing ourselves to zoom into the five most important things, we get to eliminate potential distractions and prioritise our time to what is truly important to us.

And your odds of success will improve when you focus on a singular pursuit instead.

While Warren Buffett’s advice referred to career goals, this can extend to most of our goals, including health, relationships and personal goals.

You will just need to follow this three-step Warren Buffett New Year’s resolution method:

3. Reframe Your New Year’s Resolutions in a More Positive Way

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Let’s begin this tip with a simple exercise: For the next five minutes, don’t think about the word “dog”.

There’s no way you didn’t think about the word “dog”. If you didn’t, you’re most likely lying.

When planning for New Year’s Resolutions, a common thing that people do is to tell themselves things like, “I want to do less of this” or “I want to stop doing that”.

However, what that does is to keep reminding yourself of what you want to avoid.

Rather than trying to restrict or control yourself, think of your New Year’s Resolution as a way to start a new habit. This way, you look at it as nurturing a positive new habit.

For example, instead of making your New Year’s Resolution, “I want to stop spending so much”, try something like, “I want to better manage my finances”.

By reframing it as something positive, you will feel better about committing to that resolution.

4. Tell No One

Often, New Year’s Resolutions can fail due to the phenomenon called the “intention-behavior gap,” where individuals who openly declare their goals or resolutions often struggle to follow through.

When someone shares their identity-based goal, such as aspiring to become a proficient runner, and receives positive responses from others, it creates a sense that they are already making progress. This acknowledgement may diminish their motivation to take concrete actions, like actually going for runs.

Source: Giphy

Psychologically, identity goals, like improving health or fitness, are intertwined with how others perceive and react to the person setting the goal. Instead, the research suggests that a positive response to a fitness goal can feel like an accomplishment in itself, as it convinces others that the individual is on the path to becoming a healthier person.

According to a study by New York University Professor of Psychology Peter M Gollwitzer and team discovered that students who publicly shared their study goals studied less than those who privately wrote down their goals. Despite similar levels of academic commitment, participants with public goals studied an average of 1.92 days per week, while those with private goals acted on their intentions 2.7 days per week.

These findings may seem counterintuitive, given the common belief in the benefits of publicly declaring goals. But, Ayelet Fishbach, a behavioural science professor at the University of Chicago, suggests that the discrepancy may arise from the specificity of public goal commitments. Publicly stated goals often lead individuals to focus on a few specific tasks, potentially neglecting broader lifestyle changes essential for progress.

Fishbach emphasizes that public announcements can work but cautions about the risk of backfiring, suggesting the need for careful consideration when deciding to share one’s goals publicly.

5. Don’t Give Up at the Slightest Bit of Discomfort. Change Is Never Easy

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Change is not easy, and sometimes you feel like, “Maybe I’m doing something wrong”, but that’s perfectly normal.

For example, if you want to exercise more as your New Year’s Resolution, naturally, you will feel the pain and tiredness when you start exercising regularly.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop!

In fact, it means you should persevere and work harder to achieve what you set out to do in your New Year’s Resolutions. (Remember to take breaks if you need!)

Likewise, after you have planned for your New Year’s Resolution, it might feel daunting at the very beginning.

But, like building a new habit, things will get easier over time as you keep doing it, so don’t give up when things feel tough!

Some Financial Goals To Set For The New Year

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As all of you know, Seedly is all about helping you with your personal finances, and here are some financial goals which are perfect for setting as your New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Start Budgeting

Tell yourself, “I want to save more money!”

Time to cut back on some unnecessary purchases or start managing your finances.

A few good ways to start managing your finances would be with the 50-30-20 budgeting method: or the Six Jars financial management system:

2. Get Your Finances in Order

All you need is one weekend or two to get started with our ‘patented’ Seedly Money Framework to get your finances in order:

3. Start Investing

Time to start building your investment portfolios!

Especially when you want to keep up with inflation and the high costs of living here in Singapore, relying solely on your monthly income is not enough.

Furthermore, your returns grow much more when you start early due to the power of compound interest.

If you are unsure of where to start, here’s a quick and helpful guide to help you get started with investing:

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