Woman running and exercising as her new year's resolution

Are You Making Progress In Your New Year Resolutions? Here Are 4 Tips To Help You Get Back On Track

It’s 2022. The new year is here! It’s time to slay those New Year, New Me goals, right? 


You then start listing down your brand-new resolutions passionately on the 1st day of the year.


“I’m gonna quit sleeping past midnight.” 

“I wanna hit the gym four times a week.”


Fast forward a few months later….  


Hmmm, you are probably not quite…there…yet? 

Woman trying to eat healthy for her new year's resolutions

If this is you (YES, you and also me, ahem), do not feel discouraged! There is still time to identify what did not work and continue to progress with our New Year Resolutions for the rest of the year. Before that, let’s talk about some common reasons why it’s hard to progress with your new year’s resolutions.


1. Your resolutions are too vague.

We have all heard of the S.M.A.R.T acronym when it comes to goal settings. The first two letters, S and M stand for SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE. For instance, you may have listed “To be healthier this year” as one of your resolutions.  This is a vague goal. There are two things that you have failed to take into account here. 

Firstly, you did not clearly define the steps to be healthy (balanced diet or more exercise?). Secondly, you missed out on the proper standard of health measurement. (Direct weight loss in terms of kg or reduced cholesterol level for your next medical report?) 


After deciding on these two points, you’ll be able to write a better new year resolution like this: To lose 3 kg this year by reducing fast food intake and consistently exercising.”



2. Your resolutions are too overwhelmingly boring/ambitious.

This leads us to the third and fourth letter of the S.M.A.R.T acronym. A stands for ACHIEVABLE while R stands for REALISTIC


If we are being honest, we may not even remember some of the resolutions that we have set after a week or a month later. Perhaps some of them are not really memorable or meaningful to us. We could have just listed them down because of a certain hype or to follow a current trend. That explains why it is just so difficult to even start, let alone progress for the resolution that we have made. Resolutions are supposed to be fun challenges that you take on because you truly want to achieve them, and not because someone else is also doing them. 


Another reason why we often feel demotivated is that we are being too greedy with what we want to achieve within a short period. For instance, you initially wanted to kickstart your 2022 reading goals by setting a target of 80 books. While it’s not wrong to dream big, it’s important to reflect on your availability, ability and commitment to make it happen. 



Having said that, here are four tips to help you get back on track for your new year’s resolutions again:


1. Reframe and redirect your timeline.

Whether it is lack of motivation, procrastination or plain laziness, one effective way to get back on track is sorting out your PRIORITIES within different time frames in a year. 

Man planning a timeline for his new year's resolutions and goals

Here are some keywords that I have personally found useful to organize my resolutions in terms of what to focus on now, to focus more and to focus well

  • Urgency: How soon something matters
  • Importance: How much something matters 
  • Significance: How long something matters 


By using these keywords, you can break down how you want to carry out separate resolutions according to different months, durations and frequencies within a year without neglecting any of them. It also serves as a guideline to cross unnecessary resolutions out of your list. 


2. Align your updated resolutions according to feasible habits.

Another way to help you focus better on your resolutions is to turn those declarations into regular habits in your everyday life. 


James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits said this, “Habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived.” Want to be fluent in a new language? Listen to a podcast in that language at a designated time/location, for instance at 9 pm during the weekends in your room. 


When you repeat that consistently, you’ll find yourself naturally allocating that period of time in your schedule and looking forward to it as time goes by. Before you know it, it becomes an inseparable routine in your life. 



3. Document your raw journey (your ups and downs) for accountability.

One way to stay on track is to keep track of your progress. You can pen down your thoughts in a journal or a blog (this could be public/private), create a new Instagram account for remembrance and record or even upload videos about your journey to see how far you have come. 


I remember setting a goal to watch 26 movies during the first MCO (to overcome writer’s block) and decided to compile my movie reviews on a blog. It made the whole watching and writing process more intentional and fun. This can be a creative and authentic way to not only demonstrate continuous commitment to your resolutions but also to celebrate every small milestone along the way. It also serves as a great reminder for you to continue to press on and acts as an encouragement to take ownership of each step of the journey until you reach your desired destination.  


You don’t need to set grand goals to achieve something big, find something that makes you happy in your current position! 


4. Keep trying and repeating until it becomes a reality.

Here’s the deal. You do not have to achieve your resolutions overnight. 

Woman running and exercising as her new year's resolution

It is never about how fast you achieve them, but how much you have grown and improved over the past year. Chances are you may face challenges, disappointments and struggles along the way. There will probably be days where it seems like an uphill battle, and there will be days where you have to pause and refuel before you start over again. You can take some time to process your emotions and thoughts, but don’t let these temporary mindsets limit you from unlocking your true potential in the future. 



I hope you have found the above tips useful to progress with your new year’s resolutions! Remember this: “Everything is possible. The impossible just takes a little longer.” – Dan Brown.


For further reading, check out this article about what the pandemic made me realize about my New Year’s resolutions. If you want to know how to set financial resolutions and how to achieve them, click here!

A full timedreamer who belives in the power of words. Studies celebrities and media academically, super fan of Jane Austen.

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