wellness

"Switch out your goals for priorities." How to actually stick to your New Year's goals.

The types of people you might encounter around the new year firmly fall into two camps. 

Those who couldn't care less about the prospect of a fresh start, and those of us who start feeling energised as January rolls around by all the ~new potential~.

It makes a whole lot of sense.

Side note: Check out the things successful women do on the daily. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

There's a particular phenomenon known as the "fresh start effect" which looked at how time-related landmarks can motivate aspirational behaviour, such as setting New Year's resolutions. 

But sticking to them is a whole other story.

Almost all New Year's goal-setters (92 per cent!) fail at their resolutions by January 15, but it doesn't have to be that way. 

This year, we have a few tips for actually sticking to your New Year's goals and as it so happens, it's not rocket science.

From choosing priorities to writing yourself an annual letter, here are the three best tips we learned from Mamamia's 8 Minutes to Change your Work Life podcast.

By the way, you can listen to the full podcast below.


Pick your 'word' of the year.

At Mamamia, we have a fairly long-held tradition of choosing a word of the year rather than setting traditional New Year's resolutions. 

"We came about this idea of doing this word of the year, which is kind of like a sat nav. It just points you in the general direction of setting an intention," Mia Freedman explained on 8 Minutes to Change your Work Life.

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"It can be an amorphous intention like the word 'balance', or it can be 'health' or 'friendship'.

"I find it really really helpful to just check in with that word through the year and it helps you think of the year as a whole rather than particular things you want to change about your body or health or lifestyle."

Write yourself an annual letter.

8 Minutes to Change your Work Life host Deborah Ho has an annual tradition that helps her stick to her resolutions, and it involves a little self-reflection, and forward thinking.

"I grab a piece of paper and write down what happened in the last 12 months and how I felt about it, and any goals I have for the year ahead. Then, I pop it in an envelope and I don't open it until the next year," she said.

"At the beginning of each year, I open the previous letter I wrote and see how I did with my goals."

By putting pen to paper, you're more likely to stick to your resolutions, plus, we could all do with some reflection after the year that was.

Write down your top three priorities.

Deb's final technique for finding resolutions that stick is by switching "goals" out for "priorities".

"Spend some time thinking about your three priorities for the next couple of months," she shared.

"I write these priorities down and under each one, I write a list of small easy steps I could do to kick-start my journey. Priorities keep you focused but give you more wiggle room than resolutions. 

"For example, a priority might be 'eating healthier.' Under that you can have multiple steps like cooking at home twice a week, or cutting sugar from your diet. If you find it hard to keep up with one of those habits, you haven't failed. You just need to find other ways to eat healthier that suit your lifestyle."

By creating priorities, your habits and methods for achieving a goal can be flexible. 

"The biggest advice I'd give you is don't be so hard on yourself," Deb said.

"Every day of every year is an opportunity for a fresh start, so don't feel like the first of January is the only time for it."

Feature Image: Getty / Canva / Mamamia.

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