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How To Regain Momentum If Your New Year’s Resolutions Stalled

Use these tips to get the jump start you need


Sometimes, the last week of the first month of the New Year is the first week of the same thing of the Old Year. We usually have audacious goals but stall around week 3. More than 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail, and it’s clear why more and more people are abandoning the concept. At the same time, there is value in setting goals, New Year’s Resolutions or not. And it’s also natural for goals to stall a bit. Life happens, our heads could get turned, or we just bit off more than we could chew.

If you have resolutions and you’re feeling the dark cloud of failure coming, I can relate. When we start something, we tend to discount how difficult it could be to see it through. Entrepreneur Patrick Bet David says there are 3 key things when starting out on a goal, business, or task:

  1. Create Momentum: This is the exciting part. We tell others about the goal. We start working, we set things up and the initial feedback is good. Great even.
  2. Maintain Momentum: This is the hard part. We see the initial progress, then it stalls. For weeks, months, or even years, we see no significant improvement. All the while, we must do the same things to keep up the progress we’ve made so far. It’s at this point we give up or slack off. Then we need to create momentum all over again.
  3. Sustain Momentum: Once the momentum gets maintained through consistent work, the real results start coming. It may feel like an overnight success, but it was months of reps and keeping our form. Now we need to put things in place to optimize, automate, and grow.

Creating momentum is the first week of the month. Everyone’s good at that. But only 20% of goal setters maintain the momentum. They are the ones that ultimately win. So how do we put the pep back into our goals? How do we regain (and maintain) the momentum?:

Goals Need A Stronger Sense Of Purpose

When your why is big enough you will find your how. — Les Brown

We often set goals without any real reason behind them. The reasons are often surface level:

  • Goal: I want to make $100,000. Reason: I don’t want to be broke. Well, why don’t you want to be broke? What about it is truly important?
  • Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds. Reason: I want to look my best. Why do you want to look your best?

So when it comes time to maintain momentum, it’s easier to go back to old ways. We were alive before we decided on these goals. So no harm is done. Few persons can go deep into the reason behind the goals they set out. Buried inside could be painful memories or experiences that are the catalyst for your goals. Spend some time getting clear on the purpose. The 5 Whys Technique is one of the best ways to help you maintain momentum. Once the real reason gets established, read it twice daily. We can always fall back on this purpose when maintaining momentum gets difficult.

Be Realistic

At the start, we go hard into our goals. We start cranking out high volumes of work, workouts, or hours into our side hustles. Life can get in the way. Maintaining momentum with life happening makes us have to choose. Most of us can’t work on our goals with life’s fires burning around us. So we tend to them, and forget our objectives in the process.

New Year’s Resolutions need to be grounded in reality. We have limited time and energy to use to help the kids, please our significant others, and stay afloat at our jobs.

I read a Medium article from Nicolas Cole about how he obsessively manages his time. Like Cole, we need to carve out non-negotiable time for our resolutions. That way, life can still go on. We can still be grounded in reality while crushing our goals over the longterm.

Review — or Create — A System For Success

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

If there’s no progress or momentum happening, then we must review the steps we’re taking to get to our objective. Every successful team or person has a plan and system for doing things. They don’t just create goals and achieve them out of the sky. So if we don’t have a system, we must create one. If we already have one, we must look for the breakdown (which is often ourselves self-sabotaging).

Love The Monotony Of It All

“Most of life is routine — dull and grubby, but routine is the momentum that keeps a man going. If you wait for inspiration you’ll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.” — Ben Nicholas

It’s not the big moves that help us with our goals. It’s the day-to-day grind. The boring things that make magic. We need to learn to love the pain that comes with boredom. Doing the same thing, over and over, with little progress. In time, we will look up and we will be stronger, healthier, or closer to financial freedom.

We want it to be sexy but it’s not.

Don’t be fooled by successful people flaunting their achievements or others telling you the success will come in 30 days.

Aim for transformation, not transition.

Start Again With The Bare Minimum

Every day is a new day to start again. If you’ve lost the momentum you’ve created, it’s already happened. What are you going to do now? Restart with the bare minimum you can do every day. It might be less than what you’re mind has but it’s a start.

January may be almost over, but there are 11 months to go. Be ready and willing to start again.

Get Help To Keep You Accountable

The biggest hindrance to New Year’s Resolutions is being our own keeper. We won’t be as hard on ourselves as we need to be. Getting someone to answer can help us do the boring work, every day, in the time we’ve carved out to do it. This could be a coach, friend, mastermind, trainer, or Facebook Group. Whatever’s needed to keep honest, do that.

Love Yourself

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. — Marcus Aurelius

This is the last and most important part of getting back that momentum.

Love yourself enough to do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t give up on yourself.

Get up every day to achieve your resolutions because you demand more from yourself. Love the person you want to be and run to that person. Picture that person every day, while loving who you are, where you are and where you’re going to be.

Final Thoughts

Completing New Year’s Resolutions are easier said than done. But we must focus on “the doing” for it to happen. Carve out a little time, care about yourself, get help and stick to the plan. More importantly, don’t be afraid to restart if you’ve hit a snag. New Year’s Resolutions should be life-changing. And life’s way more than one month.


Need help setting your life goals? Get crystal clear on your goals and improve your chances for success with this Goal Setting Worksheet.

Get the Goal Setting Worksheet here.

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