Systematically Dominating Your New Year’s Resolutions: A Guide to Turning Your Goals into Habits (And Maybe Even Having a Little Fun Along the Way)

New Year’s resolutions are a time-honored tradition where people worldwide set ambitious goals for themselves to make positive changes in their lives. Whether losing weight, quitting smoking, or saving money, people always look for ways to improve themselves and their circumstances.

However, despite our best intentions, it can be challenging to stick to our resolutions and make real progress toward our goals. According to a study by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. So, what can we do to increase our chances of success?

One approach that can be particularly effective is to focus on creating systems rather than just setting goals. A system is a set of habits or practices you regularly follow to achieve a specific result. By creating systems, you can break down your big goals into smaller, more manageable steps that you can tackle daily.

Here are some tips for creating systems to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Start small and build gradually.
One of the biggest things people need to correct when it comes to New Year’s resolutions is trying to change too much at once. If you try to overhaul your entire life all at once, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and are more likely to give up. Instead, start small and focus on building one new habit at a time. For example, if you want to start exercising regularly, don’t try to go from zero to running a marathon in a month. Start by going for a short walk every day and gradually increase your distance as you get stronger.

2. Make your systems easy to follow.
The easier it is to follow your systems, the more likely you will stick with them. For example, if you want to start eating healthier, don’t try to overhaul your diet all at once thoroughly. Instead, focus on making small changes, like replacing one unhealthy snack with a more nutritious one daily. Another way to make your systems easy to follow is to automate as much as possible. For example, set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account each month if you want to save money.

3. Track your progress.
One of the keys to sticking with your systems is to see progress over time. This can be especially true regarding New Year’s resolutions, as it can be easy to lose motivation if you are still waiting to see improvement. To help you stay motivated, make a habit of tracking your progress regularly. For example, if you want to lose weight, weigh yourself weekly and track your progress in a spreadsheet or journal. Seeing the numbers go down can be a powerful motivator to keep going.

4. Get accountability.
It can be tough to stick to your systems if you’re going it alone. That’s why it can be helpful to have someone to hold you accountable and provide support. This could be a friend or family member, or it could be a professional coach or therapist. The key is finding someone you trust who will be honest with you about your progress.

5. Celebrate your successes.
Finally, remember to celebrate your successes along the way! It’s important to acknowledge your progress, no matter how small. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

In conclusion, while setting goals is an essential part of the New Year’s resolution process, creating systems is what will help you achieve those goals. By breaking down your big goals into smaller, more manageable steps,

Matt Lawson, MA, NCC, LPC

Matt Lawson, MA, NCC, LPC

Hi, I'm Matt, and I'm a counselor who helps people achieve optimal health. I currently offer counseling services here at Chicago Compass Counseling and specialize in eSports and video game addiction. If you're interested, you can read more about me on my about page.