How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions
Making resolutions stick is notoriously tricky—which is why everyone is publishing “how to achieve your New Year’s resoutions” articles. So why did a site about how to be happy jump on the bandwagon? Because it is hard, because you do need help, and because we found some great advice in Mel Schawrtz’s latest post, Making New Year’s Resolutions Succeed, and we’d like to elaborate on it.
He says, “A resolution isn’t enough; a turning point into new terrain is required with the necessary energy required to sustain it.”
This is essential. What’s your turning point? Everyone has good intentions. But what prevents those intentions from seeing the light is usually a specific commitment. And by commitment, we mean specific commitment: dates scheduled in a calendar, meals portioned out, money squirreled away into a specific bank account, whatever.
Schwartz uses a sailing metaphor that inspired the title of this article: “Setting the sail equals your intention to sail away. But you’re not going anywhere without some wind. The wind is evocative of your will. You need both the sail and the wind for movement. You require both will and intention to achieve your goals.”
You require will to make the commitments and stick to them. You require will when you start seeing some changes but are tempted to fall back into your old habits. You require will when you’re almost reaching a resolution but feel like you’ve hit a plateau or will never get there.
To achieve your resolutions, create the scheduled commitments so that you can use your will when you need it most. Set your sail; put the wind in your sails.