having a plan of action is better than resolutions
Motivation,  Personal Development,  Productivity

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work and What to do Instead

New years resolutions are so overrated. It used to be a thing for me each year, along with millions of other people. No plan and no idea how it would work out, but I loved having new years resolutions for setting up my year.

Come February, they’re out the window. Every year, the same routine. However, I stopped a couple of years ago because clearly, it wasn’t working out. It was so discouraging at the end of the year to realize that none of my resolutions had materialized.

Unfortunately, that’s the reality many people face.

So, I want to clear up a few things.

Firstly, resolutions aren’t wishes you write down each year hoping for the fairy godmother to make them happen. At least that’s not what they’re meant to be.

According to the Cambridge dictionary a resolution is a “promise to yourself to do or not to do something”.

I personally don’t make new years resolution because they just don’t last. I set goals and draw out a plan to achieve them.

You may also like: How to Make a Productive Vision Board

Why Resolutions don’t Work?

Unrealistic

Resolutions tend to be the wave of the new year, new me, new everything. Nothing wrong with that, but waves don’t last.

Most people have unrealistic resolutions that they can’t keep up. The go big or go home analogy doesn’t work with resolutions because they often end up just being a pipe dream.

No time frames

Not having time frames, creates a lax attitude in achieving them. There is no accountability with resolutions because it’s more like a wish list.

Most people just wing their resolutions thinking there’s all the time in the world. Only to wake up to another new year.

No plan

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Without a plan, it’s easy to be distracted, demotivated and deterred. So, in essence, a plan creates consistency and accountability for seeing things through.

It’s just the in thing to do. There is often no deep consideration into what it takes to tick off the items on that list.

So, if resolutions don’t work what should you do?

Have a plan of action!

Why is having a plan important

Action can be destructive without a plan and I’m all for taking action. Ultimately, the action is the fuel that makes your goals and dreams a reality.

However, action needs to be clearly mapped out to guide and direct you. It doesn’t help taking action without knowing what the end goal is.

My plan includes my vision board, planner and goal tracker.

Vision boards are surrounded by their own misconceptions and naysayers. But they have worked for me in the past three years that I’ve done them.

The first time I did a vision board, I went about it like I did my resolutions. I went all out CRAZY. And guess what happened?

NOTHING.

I couldn’t understand why nothing materialized and felt dissapointed. So I dug deep.

A vision board won’t work if you don’t put in the work. Simple.

You can do everything you set yourself out to do. The universe is full of opportunities and great things just for you. But nothing ever just falls into your lap. There is a lot of work and dedication required to reap the rewards.

So that’s how I’ve started making my dreams a reality.

To say I’ve come a long way is an understatement. I’m still far from where I’d like to be but I’ve got a lot to go on.

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is a visual representation of your goals, plans and dreams. I absolutely love them. It’s a daily visual reminder of where I’m headed.

How you set up your vision board makes all the difference. You can learn how to make a productive vision board in 6 easy steps in this blog post.

How to make a Vision Board that works

  1. Be realistic
  2. Write down your dreams and goals
  3. Be true to who you are and where you want to be
  4. Be SMART about your goals
  5. Make room for change

A great way of sticking to your goals is scheduling and having a planner. You can use this Effective Planner to help you with your planning.

You may also like: Effective Scheduling you can Stick to

Plan of Action

Having a plan of action will direct you and keep you motivated to achieve your goals.

  1. Write down your main goals
    Be as clear and concise as possible. However, try to keep to a maximum of 3 goals or less. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself to a point where you can’t keep up. Setting SMART Goals brings you closer to achieving them.
  2. What actions do you need to take
    Now that you know what you want to achieve, map out the tasks you will need to do to achieve your goals.
  3. Timelines
    Set deadlines for achieving your goals.
  4. Resources
    What do you need to achieve your goals? Books, courses, assistance, any tools and services you may need to help you reach your goals.
  5. Milestones
    It’s great to keep track of your achievements. As a result, checking and celebrating your milestone is a great motivator. It will also help you see what may not be working so you can make adjustments along the way. Your plan is not set in stone.
  6. Make necessary changes
    Like I’ve said your plan is not set in stone. As a result, you need to make room for change in your planning as circumstances change.
  7. Evaluate your plan
    This is crucial in ensuring you meet your end goal. It helps you track and monitor your progress and achievements effectively. Be honest in the evaluation and be sure to learn and grow from your experiences.

This 7 step action plan is a great tool to help achieve your goals.

Your goals should not be the ceiling to your potential but the springboard to maximize your dive. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Just take massive action to make those dreams come through.

Get started and keep the momentum going.

You can do it!

Your dreams are one action at a time away.

Love, Everyday

Ntha

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16 Comments

  • Natasha Lewis

    I love this post, it is so true that new years resolutions get forgotten about and it can be really disappointing when you don’t achieve what you want to achieve. I think following your plan of action and having goals is a much better way of doing it. I also love that it doesn’t mean you have to wait until a specific time to set them
    Thank you for sharing how this great post.

    • Tina Rach

      I agree with you that without a detailed plan, New year resolutions are just statements and will be forgotten. I make sure that I look at my goals every day and I have action steps on how and when yo achieve them

  • hari

    love this post for its practical nature.
    yes, new year’s resolutions are in my opinion, a waste of time.
    why? they are pretty easy to leave out and generally people who take it become even more junkier after some time.
    goals are a wonderful way to achieve anything in life.
    thanks for sharing this awesome resource.

  • Laurence

    Great article! Resolutions are so hard to keep. I think people set the goal to high. l try to keep mine realistic. Some really great tips here. Thanks for sharing

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