6 Secrets to Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s start on an honest note…

Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be a pain in the ass. It can cause us a lot more stress and guilt than needed. Most of the time they do us more damage than good – or so I thought…

With so much information on how to stay motivated, it can be daunting and overwhelming. But don’t worry, here at TimeForTidyMinds, we want to help you simplify all the clutter of different opinions. The aim: by the end of this article you will feel just as energised and self-motivated so you can make your New Year’s Resolutions not only last but count.

From someone who has battled with finding the right way to maintain and succeed in my goals, I completely understand your struggle. It can lead you to a worse place than where you started. Luckily, after a lot of research – and admittedly trial and error – I have come up with the perfect recipe of tips and tricks. Even now when I feel my mind and discipline wandering off, I will come back to this highly effective, holy grail of a list.

Let’s change our perspective on goals, from dreams to intentions.


1. Write Down Your Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions are fundamentally your goals and aspirations for the year, think of them as your 2021 bucket list. Now, this may seem like an obvious step but making sure you’ve picked the right goals, challenging but achievable ones are important. As humans, to stay energized we typically search for instant gratification but sadly like most things it just simply takes time. That is why most of us give up on our goals.

In this TEDx Talk, Scott Geller, an alumni distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, shared these 3 questions:

Can you Do it? Will it work? Is it worth it?

When you think about them deeply, they will change your view on what is acheivable. Most of the time we can physically do our goals but we don’t because we are afraid of failure. One of my favourite quotes of all time is by Erin Hanson “What if I fall? Oh but my darling,what if you fly?”

2. Set Smaller Goals

Now you have your big goals, it’s time to write down your smaller goals, or as I like to call them, intentions. Smaller ones will keep you focused, make you more productive and are perfect ways to measure your progress.

One of the other main reasons people give up on New Year’s resolutions is because of FEAR of not being able to do it, FEAR of failure, FEAR of guilt and shame. But what if I told you that you can eliminate this by confronting your doubts and powering through those smaller targets.

My Tip & Trick

Let’s say my end goal is to excercise more this year – this is a very broad goal. So to break it down, I’d set 5 to 6 smaller goals, spread over the year. 1st small goal: Go on a walk every morning 2nd small goal: Go on a run once a week. And so on… slowly building it up which not only makes it easier to hit targets but I will also probably end up doing more because I enjoy it.

3. Tiny Habits

I’m sure you have heard of the term, as it is used by nearly every wellbeing guru. For a very good reason as they are fundamental in achieving success in your aspirations and New Year’s resolutions. Are you looking at your smaller goals and wondering how the hell am I going to stick to this?

Well, the amazing thing about tiny habits is that they really can be tiny and you can implement them in day-to-day life. BJ Fogg at Stanford University (a behavioural scientist and one of my favourite gurus) suggests to chose not more than three habits to try at a time. Write these down in an obvious place, like a blackboard in your kitchen, or use sticky notes. 

My Tip & Trick:

To reach my first smaller goal I will do these two habits: 1st Tiny habit – Wake up 1 hour earlier. 2nd Tiny Habit – Avoid taking the bus or car and try cycling or walking. 3rd Tiny Habit – Go to sleep 1 hour earlier

Listen to this fantastic podcast with BJ Fogg and Dr Rangan Chatterjee to learn more on tiny habits.

4. Manifest and Visualise

Fantastic! You’ve got this far and hopefully you’re feeling like you have a clear plan and strategy of how you are going to achieve this. New Year’s resolutions are typically how we imagine ourselves living, performing or learning. I am a firm believer in manifesting and visualisation, as it sets it in your mind and once you’ve seen what your life could be, you don’t want anything else, right?

Remember the question – Is It Worth It? You are using visualisation to determine and weigh up the risk to see if all your hard work will be worth it. The more you envision yourself achieving, the more likely you are to be motivated to work your ass off for it and in turn will hit your goals.

My Tip & Trick

Try to visualise your future-self in the mornings. On a walk, run or any quiet time that you have to yourself. It will help you think clearly and will improve your mood, energy and of course self-motivation for the day.

5. Be Kind To Yourself

Remember when I said one of the main reasons people give up, or become un-motivated, is out of fear of failure? Humans are not perfect, we are not perfect. A mistake is bound to happen but don’t demoralise yourself. I have found that the harsher I am towards myself, the more likely I will be to fail. Embrace your ‘imperfections’ and accept that you are going to ‘fail’ occasionally. You are considerably more likely to jump back on the horse and not give up. It is all about choosing the perfect and imperfect balance for yourself.

If you are exhausted and busy all day and just simply couldn’t tick off your to-do list, you have two choices. Option A: you could beat yourself up and give up on this ‘silly’ New Year’s resolution. Option B: you could remind yourself to be still and be kind and accept today is not your day. Your body is clearly telling you, you need a rest!

Which option do you think is more likely to succeed?

“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” 

― Erin Hanson

6. Practice Awareness 

Ever wonder where your days and weeks go? Well, practicing being aware and living in the present is just the trick for you because, let’s be honest, when you are thinking about the future all the time it is very easy to forget to give your present self some credit. Appreciate your accomplishments and journey so far.

Being aware of your victories (tiny, small or big) will boost your feeling of empowerment and motivation.

Practicing awareness is another way to stay connected to your emotional side. Here at TimeForTidyMinds we strongly believe that self-care is vital to living a happy, healthy, succesful and fulfilling life. .

To perform at your best and give your 100% towards your New Year’s Resolutions and any aspirations in life, the most rewarding and valuable step is taking care of yourself by having a healthy balance of every aspect in your life. Being kind to yourself regarding how much you’ve accomplished, even if it is just the beginning, is so important.

You’ve got this!

Read my article on: ‘6 Types Of Self Care & Why You Need Them”

The Takeaway:

  • Go over your initial resolutions and once your happy with them write them down
  • Break it up into smaller goals
  • Create habits which you can easily add to your day-to-day life
  • Visualise yourself achieving
  • Don’t demoralise yourself by being harsh
  • Live and appreciate the now