How Do You Stick to New Year’s Resolutions?

So you’ve made some New Year’s resolutions – maybe some of them are style-related – and now that it’s officially 2016, it’s time to stick to them and hold yourself accountable. Because as most of us know, sticking to New Year’s resolutions is not the easiest thing to do.

As I was doing a little research before writing this post, I came across some advice from Richard Branson. Whatever you think of Sir Richard, the guy knows a thing or two about success. Many of his tips were similar to the list I’d started compiling.

Here are 10 tips not only for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, but for simply making 2016 an extremely productive year.

1. Write everything down.
You never know when inspiration will strike. And no matter how amazing, earth-shattering, game-changing, or whatever you want to call it, an idea is, you WILL forget it if you don’t write it down somewhere. I can’t tell you how many “great” ideas I’ve had that I simply forgot because I didn’t write them down.

2. Carry a notebook.
This follows the first point. If you’re going to write things down, you need something to write in. In 2015 I carried around a small Moleskine but decided to start a new tradition this year with a custom monogrammed Smythson notebook. I much prefer putting pen to paper then taking notes on my iPhone – it is much easier to leaf through a notebook than its digital equivalent. Plus, at the end of the year, it’s quite a work of art.

3. Find a method you like.
Do you like to write out complete sentences or paragraphs? Bullet points? Diagrams? Sketches? For me, it’s a little bit of all of those. Finding the way you like to scribble notes and thoughts down will make it easier to parse them later.

4. Complete small tasks each day.
Nothing feels better than knowing that you have indeed accomplished something at the end of the day. So start the day with a small list of things that are attainable – go to the grocery store, jog for 20 minutes, read a magazine…

5. Cross off those tasks.
…then once you’ve completed those tasks, cross them off your list. Even if it’s in your notebook. It’s a small victory that has a big effect on morale.

6. Think big as well.
I said to make small goals, but it’s good to think in macro terms as well. Try to make your small goals ones that help you achieve a larger goal.

7. Keep a big picture spreadsheet to show progress to yourself.
I am generally a big, big picture kind of guy. When I think of things, I think of where that thing will lead in three to five years. (Strangely, I do not particularly enjoy chess.) And to keep track of these big picture ideas and plans, I make a huge Google spreadsheet with all of this information complete with a color key. The simple (okay, complicated) act of making this document puts everything in amazing focus.

8. Make personal goals.
This one could be for people like me who get laser focused on a project – could be a passion project or a business. Don’t forget about yourself. Me? I’d like to make time – perhaps an hour each day – to read magazines, books and otherwise just sit around and let the information I consume throughout the day steep inside me.

9. Share your goals with others.
Nothing is better for accountability then sharing your goals and plans with other people. Maybe you could even have them check in with you once a month. Hey, how’s that so-and-so coming along? If you tell someone a goal, it’s almost as though you feel morally obligated to follow through.

10. Celebrate success.
This is a big one. When you have a success, take the time to enjoy it. We too often achieve a goal, then move immediately on to the next thing. Whether it’s that we don’t want to be self-congratulatory or that we think we don’t have time to celebrate, take the time to do it. You deserve it.

How do you stick to your New Year’s resolutions?

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Need some more advice? Check out the Men’s Style Advice section! What’s that, you say? Your question’s not there? Send it in and we’ll get back to you!

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