7 stages of New Year’s resolutions

It all seemed so simple. From 1 January your plan would fall into place like a knife through full-fat butter, and your New Year’s resolution would yield instant gratification. Your motivation would be unwavering, and long-term success would be inevitable.

Alas, New Year’s resolutions don’t always work out this way. And there’s a good chance that if you clicked on this article, you’ve been enduring some internal resistance regarding your own resolutions.

Depending on the scope and logistics of your resolution, you may find yourself at any one of seven stages. They vary significantly.

Regardless of which stage you find yourself at, though, it’s important to re-emphasise your end goals that inspired your resolution. Doubt is not failure. Even failure is not failure. Success is not consistently guaranteed, but not giving up is essential, and sticking to your goals is the only sure-fire way of emerging through negative phases unscathed.

Stage 1: Determination

Nothing can stop you. You have a plan, and it’s achievable. You’re prepared for setbacks, but you’ll conquer them easily.

Stage 2: Success

The plan is working! Things have started well, and you’ve had some really encouraging early results.

Stage 3: Setback

Oh. Well that’s a blow. How did that happen? This wasn’t what was promised!

Stage 4: Doubt

What if I start back up again and don’t do as well?

Stage 5: Procrastination

Ugh. I just want to chill and look at pictures of cats tonight. I’ll start again tomorrow.

Stage 6: Rejuvenation

Right, it’s happening. I’m getting back on it. And I will be amazing. Nothing can stop me!

Stage 7: Maintenance

That’s better! Things are coming together nicely. I got this.

How are your New Year’s resolutions getting on? Share your stories in the comments section below.

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About the author

Jack Woodfield

Jack is a 27-year-old journalist based in Coventry, UK. He is a type 1 diabetic who enjoys sport, boring weekends, MTV and once won a talent show for dancing to Dario G’s 1997 hit “Sunchyme”.

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