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The 10-Step System for Making Effective New Year’s Resolutions

It’s Not Enough to be Busy

I came across a story that I want to start with today. It shows how being busy and getting results are not always connected.

Here it is…

Two men were out hunting. Neither was a good shot.

After they had trekked through the fields for hours, they had seen plenty of rabbits but had yet to hit one.

With evening coming on, both were getting tired. One turned to the other and said, “Tom, what about it? Let’s just miss two more and call it a day.

These two hunters used up a lot of energy that day. But it didn’t result in much.

With the right methods, they would’ve spent much less energy and seen much more results.

That’s why methods matter so much.

how to make new years resolutions for 2015

We’ve All Been Doing New Year’s Resolutions Wrong. Here’s How To Fix Them.

On Wednesday, I revealed why I think that the methods that most of us have been using to make New Year’s resolutions are wrong.

I also showed you the basic error we’ve been making and what we need to do to fix it.

(If you haven’t yet, then you should read that post first, before you read the rest of this post below.)

Today I want to give you a method for creating effective New Year’s resolutions.

Without the right methods for creating New Year’s resolutions, we’ll continue to expend a lot of energy, but see little results.

 

My 10-step System for Creating Effective Resolutions in 2015

Here is my 10-step system to create effective resolutions in 2015.

1. Decide what you really want.

Example: Let’s say you want to lose weight.
 
(IMPORTANT: Do you REALLY want this? Is it something you’re actually willing to do something to see happen? Is it something you’re willing to work for and change your behavior for? If not, don’t make a resolution about it. If you do make a resolution, you’ll just give up on it later. Before you go to the next step, you have to choose something you want enough to change your behavior. Otherwise, no system will ever work.)

2. Come up with the real reason why you want this.

You might think the answer for why you want to lose weight is “so I can be skinnier.”

But keep asking yourself “why?”

Example:

 

  • Why do you want to be skinnier?  So I can fit into my clothes.
  • Why do you want want to fit into your clothes? So I can look better.
  • Why do you want to look better? So I can feel better about myself.

There you go. That’s your real “why”. You want to lose weight so you can feel better about yourself. Write that down.

 

3. Now come up with how you will do this by writing down a list of 10 things you can do to make that happen.

Write them down. (If you don’t know how to make what you want  happen, then google “10 ways to ____________” and you will come up with a ton of answers.)

Example: If you want to lose weight, then some of the 10 ways might be:

10 Ways to Lose Weight

1. Get more sleep
2. Drink less soda
3. Go for a walk
4. Workout
5. Ride a bike
6. Eat less sweets
7. Eat more healthy food
8. Eat smaller portions
9. Use accountability
10. Cut out white grain products like bread and pasta

 

4. Pick 3 of those “hows” and circle them.

Let’s say you circled these three “hows” below as ones you’d be willing to do:

 

  1. Drink less soda
  2. Eat less sweets
  3. Eat smaller portions

 

5. Write down three easy steps you can take to perform each of these “hows”.

This will become your plan that you will resolve to follow.

Example:

  1. Drink less soda = I won’t get any refills on sodas at restaurants, or I will only drink soda on the weekend, or I will only order small or medium sodas
  2. Eat less sweets = I will only eat one sweet thing a day, or I will only eat sweets on the weekends, or I will stop having dessert after every meal and only have it 3 times a week
  3. Eat smaller portions = I won’t have any “seconds” after meals, or I won’t eat after 8pm at night, or I will eat less fatty foods and more vegetables

 

6. Write out your resolution, including real reason why, your 3 “hows” and one of each of your steps.

Here is a sample resolution for the first week:

“Because I want to feel better about myself, my resolution for 2015 is to drink less soda, eat less sweets, and eat smaller portions. I commit to doing this by starting with this plan for this week: I won’t get anymore refills at restaurants. I will only eat sweets on the weekend.  I won’t eat after 8pm.”

 

7. Read your resolution once in the morning (before you start your day) and once before you go to bed.

This will help you to remember what your resolution is and to stay committed to it.
(NOTE: Most people forget what their New Year’s resolution is after just the first week or two.)

 

8. After one week of doing those three steps of your plan, choose three new steps from your plan and rewrite your resolution.

Here is a sample resolution for the 2nd week:

“Because I want to feel better about myself, my resolution for 2015 is to drink less soda, eat less sweets, and eat smaller portions. I commit to doing this by using this plan for this week: I will only drink soda on the weekends. I will only have dessert 3 times a week.  I won’t have any “seconds” after meals.”

 

9. After the second week of doing those new three steps of your plan, choose the three final steps from your plan and rewrite your resolution.

Here is a sample resolution for the 3rd week:

“Because I want to feel better about myself, my resolution for 2015 is to drink less soda, eat less sweets, and eat smaller portions. I commit to doing this by using this plan for this week: I will only order small or medium sodas. I will only eat one sweet thing a day.  I will eat less fatty foods and more vegetables.”

 

10. Continue to rewrite your resolution each week and rotate in those different steps from your plan. After you’ve gone through each of those steps several times, you can choose some different “hows” from your top-10 list and create a new plan with 3 new steps for each.

 

Why This System Is Better Than The Old Method

Do you see how much better this method is than the old method?

 

  • You are resolving to take action, not declaring that you’d like some end result.
    Actions can be committed to. Results cannot. Actions lead to results. Results don’t lead to actions.
  • You have included your why, so you can remember the reason you wanted to do this.
    Many of us give up on our resolutions, because we forget why we wanted to do them in the first place. This solves that problem.
  • You have a plan.
    That proves that you really have resolve to do this and it gives you an action-plan that you can implement.
  • You read your resolutions daily and rewrite (and rework) them weekly.
    This encourages you to recommit to your resolution daily and continually tweak your plan.

You will obviously have to exert more energy (but not much more) using this system instead of the old method. 

(Would you really expect to resolve to do something worth doing and think that it wouldn’t take ANY additional energy?)

But don’t worry. The results will be worth it. Why?

Instead of making a resolution that never produces any results, you’ll finally have a way to accomplish the things you really want to accomplish.

So be careful with the resolutions you make in 2015.

You can actually achieve them now.

 

Photo by vanhookc

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About Scott Aughtmon (1818 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to ContentMarketingInstitute.com and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.

4 Comments on The 10-Step System for Making Effective New Year’s Resolutions

  1. You are exactly correct being busy needs to be focused and prioritized. I have been focused on building local relationships with my Facebook Business page all year long. I do income taxes for locals. My 2015 Income tax season will be starting very soon

    Chris
    Owner CEL Financial Services
    Income Tax Preparation Santa Paula

  2. I strongly agree with the notion that accomplishing a resolution comes down to how much you truly want it– knowing yourself well is always the first step towards true success. Thanks for sharing.

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