7 Tips to Making Effective New Years Resolutions

Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of New Years Resolutions. I much more prefer to make goals for myself whenever I feel the need to, instead of waiting for a certain date. However, I know that not everyone thinks like me, and I’d like to share my own thoughts on how to make goals, and more importantly, how to stick to them.

I’m going to do this in a numbered list, because that’s the easiest way to read these things. Plus, I went to a NYE party last night and I don’t think I’m capable of writing my usual 2 – 3 hour, 2000 word blog in this hungover state. But it’s Thursday, I love writing, and I’m committed. So here goes.

Here are some tips for setting your NYR’s.

1) Set goals but be flexible in your approach.

What I mean by this is set a goal for yourself without coming up with a specific process to do it. You need your plan to be flexible in order to adapt to the reality of life. Your cookie cutter plan may not turn out the way that it’s supposed to, and you want to be able to make changes to it, rather than fail to adhere to one tenant of your goal, and then give up on the goal altogether. For example, instead of saying “I will do 30 minutes of yoga every day” I would recommend making a resolution that say, “I will work toward improving my physical fitness through yoga 4-5 times per week”. This leaves you room to meet your goal and surpass your goal, whereas the former only sets you up for a failure to meet your goal by just missing one day of yoga.

2) Reach for the stars.

Don’t set mediocre goals for yourself. You’ll get mediocre results. Dream big. What do you want to accomplish? Write it down. Make it a goal. And then figure out how you can go about achieving it. If you want to be able to do a freestanding handstand for 10 seconds, but you’ve never even done headstand, then make it a goal anyways! Make a plan for yourself to achieve, but be willing to adapt. People overestimate what they can accomplish in a day, but underestimate what they can accomplish in a year.

3) Embrace Obstacles

Here I should insert some sort of cliche about “nothing that’s good isn’t worth fighting for” or you could just listen to this awesome quote from the Rocky Balboa movie. (Skip ahead to 1:40) Embrace the challenges of accomplishing your goals. Figure out a way around it. If you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll find a way.

4) Do one thing – just one thing – every day to meet your goal.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could last 30 seconds long. Hell, it could even be a mental rep or a visualization of accomplishing what you want to accomplish. If you’re working toward a handstand, simply lift your arms over head and make sure that your upper body is aligned the way it needs to be when it’s inverted and you’re doing handstand. That took 10 seconds. Do you not have 10 seconds of free time per day? It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes every day. Just do something.

5) Make a public commitment to work towards your goals.

Make a post on Facebook. Tell your mom. Get your friends to adopt your goals, too. Hold yourself accountable somehow, so that now your word is on the line if you fail to meet your goals. It will motivate you to keep going.

6) Figure out your barriers and GET THEM THE F*** OUT OF YOUR LIFE.

I cannot. CANNOT. stand when people give me excuses for why they aren’t trying to accomplish their goals. What do you want from me? You want me to say, “oh okay, that’s fine then. Clearly your situation is much more difficult than anyone else’s.” Here’s a great quote form Regina Brett:

“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”

Do you think your excuse affects me? No, it just makes me think that you’re basic as f*** and that you aren’t willing to put in hard work. If you say that you can’t do yoga because you “can’t touch your toes” or you’re “overweight”, then you’re probably not going to listen to anything that I have to say to counter your argument. You’ll only make more excuses, or “agree to disagree”. I’m not going to argue. I’ll spend my time on more valuable people.

7) Get educated.

If there is a mental or physical barrier preventing you from reaching your goal, get educated on it. Has something else been in my position before? How did they overcome it? Chances are that there has been, and thanks to the internet you can learn about their experience and then apply it to your own. For example, I have tight shoulders. Handstands are hard. So what did I do? I learned about fixing my shoulders. I put in hours of rehab. MONTHS of rehab. I stopped doing planks for 3 months and did lacrosse ball massage instead. (True story.) The point is that your barriers are only legitimate if you think they are. If that doesn’t work, go listen to Tony Robbins. He’ll set you straight. (With a lot of cursing and ego-bashing.)

I’ll list a few of my goals, just to help get the creative juices going in your own head.

1) Be on par to make xxx thousand dollars annually by the time I’m 26.

2) Hire a personal assistant (full-time) within 6 months.

3) Be emotionally more vulnerable so that I can experience all that life has to offer.

4) Fix the problem areas of my body through consistent physical rehab and isolation exercises so that I can move in any way without hesitation.

5) Continue to be an authentic, positive force of inspiration, no matter what incentives may come up.

Hope that helps you get the juices going! Here’s to an awesome 2015. Make sure to take part in the in 30-Day Man Flow Yoga BAMFS Challenge, open to everyone! To get the program guide, sign up for the Man Flow Yoga email list (located on the bottom left of this page), get the password for the program guide, and then download the program guide from this link.

Set up a profile on the new mfycommunity.com site (basically Facebook for Man Flow Yoga enthusiasts) and interact on the forum to share your experiences, ask questions, and in general just get excited about the 30-Day Challenge. Join the group here.

Don’t forget about my upcoming retreat to St. Croix in June! Check out full details here.


Photo Credit: Amy Goalen

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