Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Happy New Year everybody!

Both of this week’s stories centered around the idea of stick-to-it-ness. Rob’s barfy legal adventures articulated the importance of perseverance and sticking it out. And mine and Nicholas’s bloody trek through brambles and burning nettle was all about not taking shortcuts in life or relying on quick-fixes.

Important messages I think, especially around New Year’s when people are readying their resolutions. According to a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 22% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail in their goals after a week. After three months that number jumps to 50%.


Resolutions are great. Plans are important. But I think it’s discipline that ultimately decides whether or not we succeed; the willingness and ability to persevere and grind it out even when things get tough.

Making changes in your life that help you spend your time, money and energy in more meaningful ways can be challenging. And quick-fixes, shortcuts and magic bullets rarely exist. So as you make your resolutions for 2012 (or any time for that matter) be mindful of the important role discipline plays.

Here are a few strategies to help you be more disciplined about your resolutions and goals in 2012:

  1. Do it with a friend. Having the support and positive peer pressure of someone in the same boat as you can keep you disciplined about an activity or goal.
  2. Share your goals. I’ve read conflicting things about this one. Some say it helps. Others say it doesn’t. For me though, telling family and friends about my goals has always helped keep me accountable and motivated to persevere.
  3. Add it to the list/schedule. I’m obsessed with to-do lists. To a point where I’ll even add an item that I already accomplished just for the satisfaction of striking it off the list. For me, I find that having goals visible and in front of me really helps keep me disciplined since I loathe it when there’s an unchecked item on my list.
  4. Celebrate success. Reward yourself. Acknowledging milestones and progress toward a goal motivates you to stick with it and keep going.
  5. Make room. As motivated and disciplined as you might be, sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day. Before you add something new to your already full plate, scale back on other things (like watching TV, extracurricular activities, etc) in order to make room. (This is a major theme in my latest ebook, Balancing Priorities and Prioritizing Balance [$0.99]).

What are your tips for staying disciplined? Add them to the comment section below!

All the best for a wonderful 2012! I look forward to a year of disciplined blogging, sharing more lessons learned from life’s absurd moments and hearing yours (assuming the world doesn’t end, of course).


Funny stories. Good advice. Check out my books, “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” and “Balancing Priorities and Prioritizing Balance”. Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.

Happy New YAR! 🙂
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2 Responses to Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

  1. Becky Martin says:

    Sooooo, what are your New Year’s resolutions Josh?

    • Nothing wild and crazy this year. I want to read more and make a more deliberate effort to be better informed with current events. I’ve already been adding “read” and “edu” to my to-do lists each day so I make a conscious effort of doing them 🙂

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