My #1 Tip to Crush Your New Year’s Resolutions

Hello and welcome to episode 21 of The Darn Good Life Podcast. I am your host, Danielle Roberts. Kicking off 2021 with episode 21! I hope that your new year is off to a safe, happy, and healthy start. Today, we’re gonna chat about New Year’s resolutions. 

I’ll talk about three common reasons why people often give up on their resolutions. I’ll also share an exercise so you can figure out your most meaningful goals, and the #1 thing you must do to stay on track.

Heyyy everyone, and happy new year! I know every day seems to blend together lately and that it might feel like December 45th, 2020, but I know this year is going to be better than the last. We are days away from Trump being out of office, vaccines are being distributed (I just registered for mine on the state of NJ’s website and hope I can get it before the spring), the sun is staying out longer, and every day we get closer to being able to hug our loved ones again.

We are on our way to better things, friends.

But let’s do a check-in, now that we’re two weeks into 2021. What goals did you set for yourself this year? How are you doing so far with them? Are you crushing them, or are you already struggling to achieve what you set out to do?

Fewer than 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions each year.

People often give up on New Year’s Resolutions for three reasons:

They have difficulty breaking old habits.

Meeting new goals requires creating new habits and breaking old ones — and old habits are hard to break because they make us feel safe within our comfort zone.

We don’t magically wake up the first day of the new year, or of a new week, and become a new person or a different version of yourself, right? We have to make intentional choices about our behaviors. 

You have to take a serious look and ask yourself: 

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be instead?
  • What am I willing to do to get there?

Succeeding isn’t sexy. It’s not glamorous. It takes grit and discomfort. It’s often the boring things you must be willing to do every single day, day in and day out, that make the difference in your life. It’s knowing a task is tough and monotonous and doing it anyway. It’s not the highlight reel that people on Instagram and social media would have you believe.

I’ll use a common New Year’s Resolution example of losing weight. A lot of us want to get fit, get in shape, at the beginning of a new year.

People fail here because it’s easy to fall into old habits. It’s easy to eat that extra slice of pizza instead of meal prepping, right? It’s comforting to change into sweatpants as soon as you’re done work because you just don’t have the mental energy or stamina to get a workout in. It’s nice to stay cozied up in bed for an extra hour.

All of those things feel normal to us; they keep us what we perceive as safe. Your comfort zone is a funny thing. But what is your comfort zone?

It’s a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security.

By breaking those old habits every day, you conquer the little voice inside of your head that lies to you and tells you to go back into your comfort zone.

How would you feel if you fast forwarded one, five, ten years, and you were in the same exact position you are now because of the actions and decisions you are making today?

At the end of the day, your goals are you versus you. And the next year of your life is going to happen regardless of whether or not you show up for it.

They aren’t focused on specific outcomes.

You can’t be vague or arbitrary about your resolutions and goals. You have to be extremely clear about exactly what you want to achieve, and by when. So it’s not enough to say “I want to lose weight.” 

If you simply say, I want to lose weight, then on December 31, 2021, if you’ve lost one pound, that means you’ve met your goal.

How much weight do you want to lose? How many inches do you want to lose? What date do you want to lose it by? How many days per week do you want to exercise? For how long?

If you put numbers to your goals, it will make you more likely to hold yourself accountable and break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

They have problems with their purpose. 

Most people aren’t in touch with their why so, when they set goals, they have no emotional attachment to them. If at the end of your busy day, you don’t have a strong motivation to work toward what you set out to achieve, you’re more likely to give it up.

To build on the losing weight example: You now know how much you want to lose and the date you want to lose it by.

But why do you want to lose the weight? Is it to feel more confident in your own skin? Is it to be healthier to run around with your kids without getting winded? Is it to fit into your old favorite pair of jeans? Is it to improve your sex life and intimacy with your significant other?

When you have a reason, a purpose, for why you want to achieve this thing, it makes you more committed. Because it brings you purpose

So, one of my biggest resolutions is to have a peaceful morning routine that I can look forward to. There’s a lot that I can think of when I close my eyes and envision what I want my mornings to look like — getting up with the sun, having a delicious cup of coffee, engaging in a skincare routine, journaling, reading, meditating, exercising, having breakfast, taking the dogs for a walk.

But it would be unrealistic of me to assume that I could magically wake up at 5:00am January 1 and be this person that all of a sudden could do these things without any effort.

Instead, I am incorporating one new healthy habit each month so that when the end of the year comes, I will have engaged in 12 new habits. This month, I introduced a new skincare routine. Next month, I’ll be waking up 45 minutes earlier to get at least 30 minutes of movement in, five days per week.

Ok, so right there, I am breaking old habits and introducing new ones. When it comes to my coffee, I’m enhancing my routine from making a pot of coffee to grinding beans and french pressing it. But why am I doing these things?

In my last episode, I asked how you want to feel in 2021. I want to feel peace. 2020 was a traumatizing mental dumpster fire. So, for me, this year is about taking a step back, creating boundaries around my self care, and finding joy in routine and in the one-on-one time I spend with myself.

And the number one thing you can do to crush your resolutions this year, is to stay consistent.

If at the end of the year, there was one thing that could change your life if you just stayed consistent for 365 days, what would it be? It’s simple: Stay consistent, disciplined, and focused on that one thing.

Personal development is obviously something very important to me, so I listen to a lot of podcasts, and one of the shows I listen to frequently is The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial

I’m going to share with you his exercise for goal setting – and this only works if you write it down. So if you need to pause me right now to go grab a pen and paper, please go do that. I’ve slightly adapted these when I set my goals, but here are his nine categories for goal setting – and I’ll do my best to help you brainstorm ideas here:

  1. Career: Promotion, leave your soul sucking job, start a business, have your side hustle replace your full time job
  2. Financial: how much money do you want to make? How much do you want to save? Why
  3. Relationships: Family, Significant Other/Spouse
  4. Health: weight, diet, how do you want to feel, sleep schedule
  5. Materialistic: wanting things or more for yourself isn’t selfish or negative – a house, a car, clothes
  6. Personal Development: we budget for all of our bills but very few of us invest in ourselves. Coaches, books, courses, new skills/certs, etc how much are you gonna spend on yourself every month this year
  7. Spiritual: mediate, journal, breathwork, church/religion, how do you wanna spiritually grow
  8. Character: how do you want to interact with people? if you were die, what would you want people to talk about and say about you during your eulogy)
  9. Experiential: what do you want to experience. Travel, bucket list items, skydiving, learn a new language 

Like I said, this entire year is gonna happen with or without you setting goals. There’s over 8,000 hours in a year, you can dedicate at least one to writing your goals out to each of these categories.

You need to write out your answers, I can’t stress that enough. Then go back and look at your answers, and make sure they are both specific and include a why. 

Again: What do you want to achieve, when do you want to achieve it by, and why do you want to achieve it?

In another recent episode, he talked about when you audit your life – when you look at how your spend your days – if something isn’t a full fuck yes, then it’s a fuck no.

So go back to that list and what you wrote down, and do it often. If you fucking hate it, cross it out. Don’t allow it the space in your life. This can be anything from your morning coffee, to your commute to work and the people you spend your time with, to what you do for a living. 

But your goals and your new year’s resolutions should be designed around what lights you up. 

You only live once – and the days and years will pass no matter how you spend them. Who knows, this could be your last year on earth. Are you spending it in a way that, when you arrive on your deathbed, you’ll be proud and fulfilled?

I genuinely hope that this year is everything you want it to be and more, and that you’re entering it with a sense of renewal. 

I would love to hear what your new year’s resolutions are, so send me a DM on Instagram @darnroberts if you’d like to share them with me. And hey, if you’re enjoying these episodes, please hit subscribe so you never miss a future episode, leave me 5 stars or a thumbs up wherever you’re listening, and share this with a friend so I can reach more people who might need to hear this.

My friends, life is short, so go out there and make it a darn good one. Thanks for spending time with me – I’ll catch you next time.

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Hey, I'm Danielle!

I’m a multi-passionate, queer entrepreneur, coach, and podcast host obsessed with personal development and the relentless pursuit of building a life that I love.

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