Is there anything more depressing than staring at that shiny list of New Year’s resolutions and realizing you’ve already broken at least three of them? New Year’s resolution fails bring their own peculiar sensation of failure — and the fear of that failure is often enough to keep people from even making them. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. New Year’s resolutions setbacks can actually help you move closer to accomplishing your goals. It just takes some reframing of your understanding of “failure” and a little advance planning.
How to Start New Year’s Resolutions — Get Over the Fear
The very first step in accomplishing absolutely anything in this world is getting started, but some people find that first step almost impossible. So how do you make yourself actually start doing all those wonderful things you’ve decided you’re going to do this year? According to Psychology Today, there are three major reasons people put things off, and the number one thing is — wait for it — being afraid to fail. It’s hard to start something if you’re afraid you’re going to screw it up. So how do you get over it? Can I share a secret with you? You don’t get over it. You embrace it. Just remember, every time you don’t succeed at something, you learn something new — and you can use what you learned to adjust your plan and keep moving ahead.
How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions — Break It Down and Map It Out
Take a sharp look at your New Year’s resolutions. Bet you’ve got some big plans for yourself this year, huh? The trick to actually keeping those resolutions is to make a plan. Think about taking a trip across the country. You use a map to get where you’re going, right? The Roadmap in your Passion Planner is like a GPS for your life. It helps you figure out your big goals and map out your road to manifesting them.
Getting Started with Your Roadmap — Just Start!
Okay, so maybe you’re like me. I look at this pretty page and immediately get performance anxiety. I just know I can’t make it as pretty as the Roadmaps other people are sharing. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be! Here are three things to remember when you’re staring at that perfect (blank) page:
● No one ever has to see it but you!
● Life is messy, and your planner can be, too.
● You have lots of chances to adjust your map as you go along.
And if you really, really can’t bear to mess up your perfect planner, you can even download practice pages to work on before you commit your Roadmap to the book.
How to Deal with New Year’s Resolution Setbacks
So you goofed up — you didn’t make it to the gym, or you were too tired to write your journal entry or… whatever it was you promised you would do every single day and didn’t do today — or all week. It’s okay. Just follow these three steps to get yourself back on track:
- Forgive yourself. Seriously, just let it go. You’re not a bad person. You just learned something new. Instead of focusing on your failure, focus on what you’ve accomplished up to now. Even getting through one day is an accomplishment.
- Figure out what went wrong. Is your goal too big? Is every day too often? Is it easier to make your to-do list in the morning, or the night before? See — you’ve learned something. Now use it to …
- Adjust your plan and move on. You get a new chance to start every day, and you get to incorporate what you’ve learned into your plan as you move forward. And the beauty of it is that every time you start again, it’s easier to start again.
Starting something new can be scary, but scary isn’t a bad thing. It’s how you know you’re thinking big. The only way to fail is to never start. So go on — dream your biggest dream, then crack open your planner and chart your course to get there.
Deb Powers is a freelance writer and social media consultant living and working in Massachusetts. Her big plans for 2019 include growing her business and finally finishing that book she’s been writing.