At the beginning of January, many people started their new year’s resolutions like quitting smoking, more exercising or eating healthier. We usually start off with optimism: this time I’ll achieve them. In February the enthusiasm already diminishes and in March most people are back to their old habits again.

Why is it so hard to keep your new year’s resolutions?

Intentions and desires

If you take a closer look at your new year’s resolutions, you’ll find a motivation that says something about what’s important to you: a personal value. For most people, self-care is an important value.

A resolution is often a rational decision: “I really should quit smoking now”. This might be a wise decision but nevertheless hard to sustain.

It’s more useful to look at the desire behind that decision. Quitting smoking has to do with the desire to take care of yourself, your health, and e.g. easier breathing and better sports results.

If you keep your eye on the underlying motivation and desire it becomes easier to follow through. Your focus shifts from what you don’t want – a negative motivation – to what you do want: a positive motivation.

More self-esteem

Each time you make a decision and get into action that’s aligned with your values, you increase your sense of self-worth. This way you build your self-esteem.

Your values as a compass

Your values will then guide you and act as a compass. So if you need to take a decision or need extra motivation to follow through on a decision, just take a look at your underlying values and desires.

How can I stick to my new year’s resolutions?

Summarizing: focus on what you do want, from your deeper motives and desires. That will help you to more easily let go of behaviour that is not conducive.

Remember: intention and positive focus are more powerful than willpower.

Does this encourage and inspire you? Let me know in the comments!

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