You’re not going to keep any of your New Year’s resolutions. Please don’t feel bad; few people actually do, me included, which is why I stopped bothering with them a few years ago. Instead of a long list of New Year’s resolutions, I write down one – just one – monthly resolution and focus on it for the rest of the month.
There are many reasons why New Year’s resolutions may not work. Some common causes include setting unrealistic goals, not having a clear plan or strategy for achieving the goal, losing motivation or interest over time, and not tracking progress or accountability. Additionally, some people may be more successful at achieving their resolutions than others due to their level of commitment, ability to handle setbacks or obstacles, and overall support system.
Monthly, or Mico-resolutions to the rescue.
This is why the monthly resolution works so well. Whether you call it a resolution, micro-resolution, or micro-goal, the results will be the same; instead of your attention being pulled in multiple directions, you’re forcing yourself to focus on just one thing.
You could set for yourself 12 habits you want to build or change throughout the year but focus on just one each month. After all, they say that if you do something new consistently for 30 consecutive days, it will become so routine that you don’t even think about it anymore.
Or your monthly resolutions could be different each month, like focusing on a habit one month, completing a personal project the next, or whatever great big substantiative goal you want to achieve within 30 days.
One month last year, my resolution was to “protect my time,” which meant saying no to projects and meetings that didn’t advance my more significant over-arching business and personal goals.
The benefits of monthly resolutions
One of the benefits of monthly resolutions is that they help you stay motivated and engaged. When you create a long list of New Years’ resolutions, it’s easy to lose sight of your progress and become discouraged. With monthly resolutions, you can see your progress more frequently, which can help you stay motivated and on track.
Another benefit to monthly resolutions is that you stay motivated. Monthly resolutions help you build momentum and increase your chances of success. Achieving a small goal can give you a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to keep going.
Since starting my monthly resolutions, I have accomplished much more throughout the year, and favorable resolutions were more easily achievable than negative ones. Meaning that resolutions to create, revise, or improve something felt better to work on a little bit each day than resolutions that started with the words “don’t” or “stop.”
There are two crucial things to remember about this process. First, you need to write your monthly resolution down so you can see it in front of you daily. Put it in your calendar, write it on a post-it, write it down in your daily journal, whatever it takes. Second, be flexible and keep going even if progress is made slower than you like. Some resolutions take more time and effort. I’ve even carried a resolution over into the next month from time to time.