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Staying the Course: Getting Your New Year’s Resolutions to “Stick”

As the first month of 2024 winds down, reflecting and re-committing to our New Year’s resolutions is crucial, as many of our well-intentioned goals tend to wane.


But why is this?


And how can we counteract this trend?


Research suggests that most New Year’s resolutions falter by early February. This phenomenon—often attributed to the initial excitement wearing off and the reality of daily challenges setting in—highlights a crucial aspect of human psychology. The key to sustaining your New Year’s resolution is not just setting your goal(s) but “sticking” to them despite obstacles.


The commonly cited “21-day rule” for habit formation is more of a myth than a hard fact. While this timeframe might be sufficient for minor habits, more complex and substantial changes take longer to become ingrained. The actual duration for ‘stickiness’ can vary greatly from person to person, depending on the complexity of the habit and individual differences.


Sources like Health.com and Harvard Business Review and experts, such as James Clear emphasize there is no one-size-fits-all timeline for habit formation. The critical factor is not the number of days but the consistency and commitment to the change. The initial phase of forming a new habit or breaking an old one is critical…but be prepared for a journey that might extend beyond 21 days.


Shifting your mindset from a fixed timeline to a flexible one creates a more personalized and resilient approach to habit formation. Goal flexibility highlights commitment and patience in the process of change. Recognizing that habit formation is a varied and personal journey can be liberating and empowering. It allows you to set realistic expectations and develop strategies that cater to your unique circumstances. In short, goal flexibility predicts greater wellbeing!


In light of this, seeking support can be invaluable. This is where the role of an executive coach becomes critical. Executive coaching is not just limited to corporate professionals; it’s a resource for anyone aspiring to grow personally and professionally. An executive coach provides accountability, which is crucial in maintaining commitment over the long term. Executive coaching also provides expert guidance and unbiased feedback, helping you navigate and develop effective strategies for change.


In summary, as we tread through the early stages of 2024, revisit the ‘Why” behind your New Year’s resolution. “Why” did you begin your journey and “Why” is it important for you to continue growing? Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The journey of change is filled with ups and downs. If you find yourself struggling, consider enlisting the support of an executive coach to help transform your resolutions from fleeting wishes to tangible, long-term successes.


Let’s make 2024 a year of persistence and triumph!




For personalized support in achieving your New Year’s resolutions, consider the executive coaching services at Career in Progress. I am ready to guide you towards success in 2024!

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