Community//

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Work

Even When You Want to Give up

A new year, a new healthier and happier you! A chance to think about your hopes and dreams and take a crack at making them come true. So many things to look forward to, the year is full of promise and hope.

Do you start off the year strong taking action on your goals only to fizzle out later or maybe you just think about them but they never take off?

A friend of mine runs one of the most popular Equinoxes in NYC. He told me January is a hot month, people come streaming in to work out, but come February the gym is back to having just the handful of regulars coming in.

What sets these regulars apart from the gun-ho crowd in January?

In one word: systems. Yes, you heard me, systems not just goals or New Year’s resolutions that fall flat.

Systems are exactly what have helped me stay healthy and fit and they can help you too.

It’s what Scott Adams says propelled his career forward that lead him to his success in his career and later with his cartoon Dilbert. It was systems that got him ahead NOT willpower or goals.

One such system he adopted early in his corporate career before Dilbert was to continually look for better options in the job market. An idea he got from a businessman who had given him advice to make job searching an ongoing process, not only to be done when necessary. This businessman used systems to make it to CEO of a company.

Notice it’s about working towards something continuously and persistently.

Let’s say you have a New Year’s resolution or goal to lose 10 pounds in a couple of months. It’s a great S.M.A.R.T. goal. It’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Congrats! You’ve nailed one of the most recognized and used methods for defining a goal. I used it all the time when I was in the corporate world.

Many would say you’re odds of achieving it are even greater when you define your goals. But are they? Would you really stick to your goal and, in this case keep, the 10 pounds off? For many, losing weight usually means gaining it all back and then some.

Adams distinguishes a goal from a system. A goal is something specific you achieve or don’t in the future and a system is something you do continuously to increase your odds at happiness for the long term like your career or health.

So in the case of losing 10 pounds, you may or may not achieve it. If you change it into a system of eating healthy foods that are right for your body and leading a healthy lifestyle, it’s likely to become long-lasting and increase your odds at succeeding and ultimately being healthier and happier.

Say if you reach your goal of losing 10 pounds what then? You may feel happy and most likely will at least for a while. You’ve reached it and then you are done. I know for myself in the past this never worked. I could lose 10 pounds, but it would inevitably come back and maybe even more. I would be done with an often rigid restricting diet and, as soon as I reached my goal, I’d go off and reward myself with all the goodies I could not eat during my diet. It was hard.

With a system, Adams says when you do it on a regular basis, like eating healthy, you’ll get to a better place in life. There is no deadline, it’s just a part of your everyday life.

Kirsi Bhasin helps busy professionals overcome exhaustion and overwhelm and be happier and healthier. She contributes to The Huffington Post on Healthy Living and is an expert member of Dr. Oz’s Sharecare community of top-ranking health experts. Need to relax and take the edge off? Download your free copy of “7 Quick & Simple Ways to Relax” here.

Originally published at kirsibhasin.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Notebook on wooden table with space to write goals
Community//

Resolutions to Reality: Why 80% of New Year’s Resolutions Fail (and How to Make Yours Stick)

by Patrick Ewers
Well-Being//

The #1 Secret to New Year’s Resolution Success

by Caroline Jordan
Courtesy of Merilee Kern
Community//

How to Reel in New Year’s Resolutions Gone Rogue

by Merilee Kern

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.