Keeping Discipline Past New Year's Resolutions

With the start of a new year, a lot of people are making their resolutions for the coming months. There are the usual ones: people want to lose weight, kick bad habits, make more money, and so on. But, there’s a lot more to getting those things done than signing up for a gym membership and making your promises to yourself. I want to take a little bit of time today to talk about how disciplined folks build and maintain that discipline over time to accomplish the things that are important to them.

First and foremost, it’s vital to find or make a reason for attempting to keep your resolution. The why behind the thing is the most important part, and it will keep you going when things get hard? For example, are you trying to kick a caffeine habit because you’re anxious and sleeping badly? Write that down, post it somewhere you’ll be able to see it often, and remind yourself of that every time you’re tired and want a cup of coffee.

When it comes to making the reason you’re doing something, I think it works a lot better to make a positive reason as opposed to a negative one. Positive reasons are motivating because there’s something that’s worth working towards. Negative reasons, on the other hand, make keeping your commitments feel like a punishment: that, in my view, sets you up for failure.

Once you have your positive purpose figured out, I think it makes resolutions and commitments a lot more doable if you make measurable goals. This is important, especially, in fitness or productivity. Is your goal to read more? Then commit to a book a month. It might seem low, but if you can read a book by the end of the month, there’s a reasonable, doable goal that will feel like a victory. It’s in those little victories that goals seem more doable, and the fun of winning makes it worth it in the long run.

Aside from setting measurable goals, it’s also important to give yourself time for rest. No matter how badly you want to meet your goals and resolutions now, we have to recognize that we’re humans, and we get tired. If we start out with that mindset and plan time ahead to give ourselves rest, it’s more likely that we’ll end up meeting our goals over time instead of burning out and quitting out of exhaustion.

There’s nothing wrong with setting a new year’s resolution. In fact, I welcome the fact that people take the turning over of the calendar can bring about positive change. From there, I think that the important next step is to think about goals in such a way that you set yourself up for success. With a little bit of prior planning, and some kindness toward yourself, I think it’s a lot more likely that you’ll meet your goals. That said, I hope that this helped a little bit and that this year, you can stick with those important commitments that you’ve made to yourself.
About author
Garrett is a writer and commentator based in the South. His areas of expertise lie in cooking, fashion, and the outdoors among others. He has been writing and educating professionally for years, and enjoys creating online discourses around positively masculine spaces.


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