How to set resolutions for the New Year the right way (Part 1 – How to motivate yourself for the New Year)

The New Year 2015 is here and I bet that many of you are making resolutions for the New Year. I also believe you stick work on them for the first days, weeks or even months. But doesn’t it happen to you that you finally give it up? Whether it is because of lack of entertainment, you don’t see any purpose in doing that activity, “don’t have time”, don’t see any results or simply you are not motivated enough? Then you are going to love this stuff, I have decided to help you and create a mini-guide I have divided into 2 parts 4 parts.

In this first part, I am revealing to you how to properly set goals and make resolutions for the New Year. I am also going to tell you which mistakes to avoid. In the second part, you can read about how to beat procrastination once and for all + what to do before the action. The third part will be about how to build positive habits that are important for being successful in the life and I will also reveal my secret for staying motivated all time even if you constantly fail. The fourth part will be proven tips and tricks for immediate motivation.

Happy New Year 2015 Wallpaper

I wish you Happy New Year 2015! I believe that all your dreams will turn into reality this year.

How to motivate yourself for the New Year

Part 1: How to set resolutions for the New Year right way(You’re here)

Part 2: How to beat procrastination once and for all

Part 3: How to build good habits for the success + my secret about keeping motivation

Part 4: Tip and tricks for immediate motivation(Soon – instead join my email newsletter)

I have to admit I have never made any resolution, even in my mind. I set goals throughout whole life and I try to work on them throughout the year. But I know that feeling when I am losing motivation for the things that although I like doing, but finally I find myself procrastinating and making excuses like:

  • “I don’t have enough courage.”
  • “I am not in the mood today.”
  • “I will do it later.”
  • “I cannot do it.”
  • “I don’t know how to achieve it.”

TOP 10 New Year’s Resolutions

At first, I list typical resolutions for the New Year people are making at the end of the year:

  1. Lose weight or start exercising
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Drink less(alcohol obviously)
  4. Learn something new(skill)
  5. Eat healthier and diet
  6. Spend more time with family and close friends
  7. Find a new partner or more friends
  8. Travel to new places
  9. Start business
  10. Be less stressed

3 steps to making resolutions the right way

I have found out the reason why we almost never achieve our resolutions for the New Year we had made is that we absolutely wrong not only set goals(intrinsic motivation), but we also define them wrong, if any. And when we define them the right way, then we wrong set numbered goal which we want to achieve.

1. Own intrinsic motivation to achieve a goal

Our own intrinsic motivation, to make a change in our life, is the most important factor when it comes to achieving goals or New Year’s resolutions. Extrinsic motivation, it means rewards and punishments from others, will never last. It can be compared to the smell which will vanish after a while. But when we do something based on our higher cause, a decision to change ourselves, then we are able to achieve and motivate ourselves much more.

That’s why we can’t motivate ourselves in the long term to do something we aren’t interested in or we don’t see any purpose in it.

It is really simple, we as people want to have a freedom in making our decisions and if we lose freedom, then we resist. We want to manage own life, own direction of our life. Then, we are more satisfied with the life. We don’t want to be controlled by others and we try to be better at that what matters to us.
You can be motivated to take an action for a while, thanks to external pressure. It can be the pressure from parents in order to make their kids learn something they aren’t interested in or advice from the doctor for an obese man to lose weight, otherwise he will die. Although the obese man will be motivated for a while, but it won’t last very long unless he doesn’t do it for his higher cause to change himself. Or I bet you have been forced by parents, bad marks or teachers to learn on a subject which is just a waste of time for you. For instance, when you were preparing for the exam from Chemistry(or any other subject that is unnecessary to you), do you remember how hard it was for you to motivate into learning? And even when you have motivated yourself, it took a lot of time and after the exam, you weren’t motivated to learn Chemistry anymore.

That’s the reason why I always ignore requirements from people who want to motivate into activity they actually don’t like and don’t see any purpose in it.

Sometimes I ask them: “Is this what YOU want to do it in the life?” or “Will it help YOU in the future?”. The basis of the whole motivation is our own intrinsic motivation to change ourselves or start something, not motivation from others. We shouldn’t have other people who will kick our asses in order to do something. The most productive people are those who:

  • Know their own purpose
  • Want to be the best in the area(though we never reach the top)
  • Have a freedom on the road to accomplishing their goals and dreams

If we can determine what WE want to change, then we have a halfway behind us.



2. A Detailed definition of the goal

When you choose a goal based on your own higher cause. Then you can bet that it isn’t enough to just say it yourself or write it on the wall. You need to exactly define it. I used the questions from the Golden Circle and it is really important to write these questions and answer them in the following order:

  1. Why do you want to achieve it? – it means your own reason, why you decided like this.
  2. How do you want achieve it? – what do you need for achieving it, what do you need for doing it. Simple process to achieving the goal. Detailed plans add later, as you work on the goal.
  3. What will you do for it? – what will be your activity that help you achieve results.

I recommend writing it on the paper or at least on the mobile phone or PC. Robert Cialdini in his book Influence is writing about what we write on the paper influences us much more than what we only say. One of the reason is that it requires a bigger effort.

3. The better way of setting numbered goals

A research, conducted by Maura Scott and Stephen Nowlis(source at the end of the article), shows that we successfully finish our resolution if we rather than setting exact numbered goal(I will lose 20 pounds a month, I will find 4 new friends every week, my business will make me 500$ every day), we set low-high range, what is still the average of the original number(I will lose 15-25 pounds, I will find 2-6 friends, my business will make me 300-700$ every day).
In one of their studies, the participants were divided into 2 groups. The first one had the goal to lose 1-3 pounds each week, the second one had the goal to lose exactly 2 pounds each week and over a period of 10 weeks.
After 10 weeks, the researchers measured a weight of participants, but also their willingness to join in another 10-weeks program. Although the weight difference between the groups wasn’t big(during the first 3 weeks the first group with low-high range lost on average 2,67 pounds, while the second group with the exact number 2,2 pounds), the biggest difference was in the willingness of joining in another program. Those who had the goal with low-high range were 60% more motivated to join in another 10-week program.

The reason why people will be motivated longer when they set low-high range goals is that the goals with the range are much more realistic than those with exact number and also it is a bigger challenge for us because we as human beings need more challenging goals, which aren’t easy to achieve.
So, also beware of setting numbered goals for your New Year’s resolutions.

This is the end of the first part. Even if you set goals in the best way, if you fail to put it into practice, then all of your thinking about own goals and all papers you used were completely a waste of time. Therefore, other parts will be about how to prepare yourself to put it successfully into practice, how to overcome problems with procrastination, how to maintain motivation in order to make you work on your resolutions for the New Year constantly. I believe that it will be soon, so in order to not miss other parts about procrastination and building habits, join my email newsletter in the form below the article.

Question: What are your goals and resolutions for the New Year 2015?

Source: Scott, M. L., & Nowlis, S. M. (2013). The Effect of Goal Specificity on Goal Reengagement. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(3), 444–459

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