How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions | 120 Seconds to Better Leadership

This time of year, people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s so much a part of our culture when we think about it. But I think we all agree they pretty much don’t work. But here’s what I do think works instead.

Let’s Be Realistic

When you try and make a significant life change and it’s January when we have nothing to look forward to, if you’re in the Midwest the weather’s not very nice and the days are very short. It’s a depressing time of year, so for most people, the motivation to give up comfort foods and engaging in something healthier is not very high, let’s be real.

But here’s what works instead.

Work as a Team

If you can take on something as a team at work, or with a team in your family, you’re going to get a couple things out of it. One, you’ve got other people helping provide some of the motivation. I think, two, you get the human connection and that camaraderie that is really good for your soul this time of year. And then I think the chances that you’ll stick with it go up dramatically.

Things I’ve seen work for teams at work: I’ve seen smoking cessation taken as a team. Very effective. And very good for healthcare costs, by the way. Two, I’ve seen walking groups, I’ve seen groups that train for, you know, 5Ks, I’ve seen groups that have weight loss goals together.

Find Human Connection

I do see that when teams focus on goals together, even if it’s a once a month, you’re going to commit to a day of volunteering together, the camaraderie and the support helps motivate you, helps hold you accountable, provides you with that human connection that this time of year is really essential. So try that this year instead.