17 Jan 30 Minutes to Turn Your New Year’s Resolution into Lasting Change

“I hate New Year’s resolutions!” my friend declared. My colleague confessed, “I didn’t make a resolution this year.” A family member muttered, “I gave up on New Year’s resolutions once and for all.” If only I had received a nickel for every time that I heard these phrases over the past few years, I’d be rich.

Unfortunately, this type of self-defeat around the New Year is becoming the new norm. In fact, according to a YouGov poll, 32 percent of of US adults did not make a New Year’s resolution for 2018. People are flat out sick and tired of failing.

I’m Challenging You to Reconsider

If you’re one of the every three people who didn’t make a resolution this year, I’m challenging you to reconsider. You might be thinking, “But Derek, it’s already too late.” Reality check: It’s not “too late.” We are only 17 days into the New Year, which means that we still have 348 days to go.

If you don’t know what your resolution should be, ask yourself this powerful question: What is the one thing you’ve been putting off that’s bothering you? [This question is a life-changer. If you don’t believe me, check out my previous What Are You Putting Off that’s Bothering You post.]

Have you been putting off saving money, losing weight, traveling the world, reading more books, learning a new skill or hobby, buying a house, spending more time with family or friends, working out regularly, quitting drinking or smoking, going after a new career, or finding the love of your life? Just pick one. The key to success is to keep it simple.

Are You Making Progress?

If you are in the group that made a New Year’s resolution, are you in the 9 percent who are flat out crushing it? Or, did you make too many resolutions and break them all in the first two weeks of January? I made a resolution, but I’m still putting it off. The one thing I’ve been putting off that’s bothering me is creating regular video content. Sadly, I’ve been so focused on perfection that it’s paralyzed my ability to get started. My lack of action is similar to the people who are still waiting for the ideal Monday to start their new healthy lifestyles.

My Proven, 8-Step System for Lasting Behavior Change

Each and every year over the last decade, after I officially decided upon my resolution or “one thing,” I’ve always budgeted 30 minutes on New Year’s Day to go through my 8-step system for lasting behavior change. This year, I’m a little bit behind… but for good reason. Because, right now, we get to do it together!

Step #1. The Fear Factor: On a scale of 1–10 (1 = low, 10 = high), rate yourself on how committed you are to your New Year’s resolution or that “one thing.” If you didn’t rate your commitment as a 10, what will it take for you to go from the number you chose to a 10? The answer to this question is the big obstacle that you will ultimately overcome.

Step #2. The Deadline Decision: What deadline or a series of deadlines will you set to achieve your resolution? Think about the many small wins that will add up to the big win. [Bonus: Try FutureMe.org to hold yourself accountable. It’s awesome!]

Step #3. The Scheduled Slot: Look at your calendar for the next month. When exactly will you schedule about 60 minutes to focus on your resolution? Before deciding, consider your energy level and interruptions at different times. After you choose the time slot, block it off every day… yes, every day! Don’t cancel these commitments with yourself. I call these my Daily YOUzones.

Step #4. The Priority Preference: Right now, what specific action or task will give you 60 times return from your 60 minute scheduled slots? The answer to this question is the first priority that you will spend time on during your Daily YOUzones from step #3. Ask yourself this question weekly as your key actions and tasks will likely change.

Step #5. The Stop Sign: In addition to the big obstacle or fear that is holding you back, what day-to-day distractions are in your way? Strive to cut this distraction and replace it with your priority preference from step #4.

Step #6. The Growth Gap: With respect to your resolution or that “one thing,” what skill do you need to try that you’ve never attempted? In other words, where do you need to grow? The best way to change is to grow. As you grow, you increase your chance for success.

Step #7. The Mentorship Motivator: Who do you know who has successfully achieved what you are trying to accomplish? Reach out to one of them today for added motivation and accountability.

Step #8. The Energy Element: To attack anything worthwhile, you need energy. How and when will you take the time to recharge and recover every day? Start planning your food, exercise, water, and sleep.

Will You Crush It or Quit?

Right now, imagine your life one year from now. Will you accomplish the one thing you’re putting off that’s bothering you?

According to US News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February… which is February 14th. Today is January 17th. You have 28 days left to crush it or quit. What choice will you make?

Click to Tweet: According to US News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February… which is February 14th. Today is January 17th. You have 28 days left to crush it or quit. What choice will you make?

Bottom line: Don’t quit!

ACTION: It’s go time. Clearly decide upon your New Year’s resolution or one thing you’re putting off that’s bothering you. Then, schedule 30 minutes to go through my 8-step system for lasting behavior change. [For a deeper dive, download my complimentary SHIFT Workbook, which is filled with life-enhancing actions.]

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