Your Boss Lady New Year Resolution Action Plan


Woman's desk for preparing to write a New Year's Resolution action plan.

How to Plan Your New Year Resolution

Lately, I’ve shared how to get yourself into a good mindset to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions and setting a Word of the Year. But what about your actual Action Plan for your New Year’s Resolution? A New Year’s resolution deserves a good action plan to help you succeed and meet your goals!

First, let’s answer a few burning questions…

Are New Year’s Resolutions effective? Why do New Year’s resolutions fail?

US News says that around 80% of people have abandoned their New Year’s Resolution by the second week in February. (Forbes has some different statistics.) Yet it seems that only around 8% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions actually meet their goal!

This tells us that New Year’s Resolutions are not very effective. 92% of people setting New Year’s resolutions are failing!

Now, I use the term “fail” loosely… they don’t succeed in meet their goal, but it doesn’t mean that they’ve failed.

So if all of these people are setting New Year Resolutions, why don’t New Year’s resolutions work?

I believe there are three reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail: 1.) lack of specificity 2.) lack of planning 3.) mental focus.

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The Boss Lady's New Year Resolution Action Plan.

Sure, we plan! We say, “I’m going to go to the gym 4 times a week for 45 minutes and cut back on calories by 15%! I should more than achieve my goal… probably by March!

Then suddenly, our boss is demanding more at work, or the baby gets sick, or anything else in life gets in the way. And we only hit the gym 3 times… then maybe skip a week altogether… then maybe after another half-hearted attempt to get back on track, we realize that we’ve stretched ourselves too thin and give up entirely, promising ourselves that when we have more time, we’ll start up again. (This is something that has happened to me probably millions of times in my life!)

I have news for you (you may have figured this out already):

There is never going to be more time.

A calendar can help you execute your New Year's Resolution plan.

We have a very limited amount of time that we are given, and we must fill those hours first with things we are expected to do, then we can add in things we want to do.

This is the way life works. Crazy, unexpected, time-consuming things are going to pop up and we’re going to be blown off-course with our goals!

If we want our New Year’s Resolutions to be effective, we need to plan our goals effectively!

When we develop your New Year Resolution action plan, we want to include a Leveled-Up Ideal Plan, and a Plan B, AND an Emergency Plan. I’m going to even go so far as including a calendar and consolation goals.

I want you to:

  1. Set yourself up for success.
  2. Minimize the chance of guilt.
  3. Be flexible.
  4. Put in the time upfront so you’re more likely to follow through.
  5. Eliminate the need for will-power!

Let’s get going!

IDEAL PLAN:

In our last post, we used losing weight… specifically getting down to a weight of 130 lbs as our specific goal. We’ve set our affirmations and we have a plan of staying mentally focused on those affirmations and our goal.

(Make sure your New Year’s Resolution is a SMART goal!)

Your ideal is the plan that you will execute under the absolute best circumstances! So you figure in order to lose some weight, you need to exercise more and watch what you eat. Maybe your New Year Resolution action plan looks like this:

1.) Go to the gym 4 times a week for 45 minutes each time.

2.) Only have dessert twice a week after meals.

3.) Replace leftovers for lunch with a salad 3 times per week.

4.) Make home-cooked dinners 5 times a week. (Only eat out once every two weeks)

Those are great goals! Let’s get them LEVELED-UP! Do some research and get really specific about each item in your checklist and put in details to make them SMART goals!

SMART GOALS.

Ideal plan leveled up:

1.) Go to the gym 4 times a week for 45 minutes each time.

I will go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday when the hubby is home with the kiddos after school. (Check with hubby and make sure this fits in his schedule. EVERYONE has to be on board with your plan or it won’t work.)

On Monday and Friday, I will jog/walk for 20 minutes (alternating every 2-3 minutes at first, then longer stretches of jogging). Then I will focus on legs and core with the weight machines there for the remaining 25 minutes.

On Wednesday and Saturday, I will jog/walk for 20 minutes (alternating every 2-3 minutes at first, then longer stretches of jogging). Then I will focus on stretching and upper body on the weight machines for 25 minutes.

The last thing that you want is to walk into the gym on January 1st and go… “Um, what should I do now?” You’ve got a plan—now get to work!

It’s TOTALLY okay to change or make alterations to your plan if you find something that works better. Be flexible, and be willing to write down your changes as they happen.

2.) Only have dessert twice a week after meals.

Ask yourself—what qualifies as a dessert? To me, a granola bar is sweet enough to be a dessert. What about a yogurt with toppings?

Now what about replacement desserts? To me, 2 pieces of Dove chocolate does NOT qualify as a dessert!

Which meals do you think you’ll need desserts after? Maybe you have meetings all day on Wednesdays, or those Thursday classes really kick your teacher-butt. Plan a dessert on those days to give yourself a little something to look forward to!

The most important thing is to ask yourself questions and be specific.

3.) Replace leftovers for lunch with a salad 3 times per week.

What kind of salad dressing is healthy?

In what quantity?

4.) Make home-cooked dinners 5 times a week. (Only eat out once every two weeks)

Woman eats healthy.

When are you going to plan for meals?

When are you going to go grocery shopping?

______

Do you see how specific this is?

This can be applied to any goal you want.

Now that you’ve leveled-up your Ideal Plan, don’t forget to write it out, print it, and post it somewhere you can see every day!

PLAN B:

In your New Year’s Resolution Plan, Plan B is already pre-designed in case your Ideal Plan Leveled-Up doesn’t work for you at any given time!

Maybe this includes:

1.) 3 days at the gym, 20-30 minutes per session.

2.) Eating some thing small that’s sweet, 5 days a week.

3.) Choose leftovers over eating out for lunch.

4.) Make home-cooked meals 3 times a week.

Ask yourself as many questions about these as you did above.

Basically, you’ve scaled down the elements of your Ideal Plan to make it a little less rigorous.

Are you still going to be working toward your goal? Absolutely! It just might take a little longer than if you were so focused and rigorous as your “Ideal Plan”.

EMERGENCY PLAN:

The Emergency Plan is the final part of your New Year’s Resolution Plan, and it should happen when something derails your entire week.

You don’t have ANY time to do the things you said you were going to do in your ideal plan… What kinds of things can you do to help you toward your goal?

Here are some examples:

1.) I will walk 15 minutes at lunch when I can.

2.) When eating out, we will go to the following restaurants and focus on veggies and meats, but will avoid THESE restaurants and these foods.

3.) When eating dessert, I will opt for smaller, richer portions than larger portions.

4.) I will not let free food derail my plans.

Ask yourself as many questions about these as you did above.

These are LITTLE ways that you can still feel good about working toward your goal even when you’re just trying to survive. Because believe me: little things done consistently can add up to HUGE things!

Again, if these are already built into your plan, there’s less guilt. Instead of:

“Well, this week’s already a bust… might as well have one of those donuts that my coworker brought in,”

you can tell yourself,

“Even though this is a tough week, I still have all of these options for small successes so this week isn’t totally wasted!”

3 Plans

The reason for having 3 plans is because:

  1. If you are not succeeding, you get a chance to try again.
  2. Success is built into your plan! If you are not able to achieve your Ideal Plan, chances are you will feel a lot less guilty for taking on Plan B or your Emergency Plan.
  3. Shit happens. Life is full of ups and downs and there may be a week in there when you don’t accomplish ANY of your plans. This tiered approach gives you a chance to reconvene and get back into it.
  4. The more you plan, the more time you have already put into your goal… I don’t know about you, but if I’ve already spent THAT much time on something, I’m less likely to abandon it. I don’t want all that work to have been for nothing!

There are going to be times when you are not able to meet these daily or weekly goals. You have to be willing to say “That’s okay” and move forward.

Remember: when you’re tired, learn to take a break, not quit.

CALENDAR:

This is an important step. Writing down your accomplishments EVERY DAY will help you visualize how far you’ve really come.

Here’s what I used when I started my New Year Resolutions action plan last year:

Use a calendar or planner for your New Year's Resolution plan.

It’s not pretty, but it got the job done.

I have since designed a calendar that combines my to-do list, goals, and meetings/events into ONE planner. This helps me be able to check off any time I’ve completed something and I’m not stuck carrying around 3 different journals/planners. You can do it on a device, but like I explained before, it’s SO much better to write it out by hand!

Here’s what I use now!

Goal planner with affirmations for your New Year Resolution action plan.

You can find it here on Etsy!

Learn how to Use my Goal Planner:
Goal Planner With Affirmations for Productivity

SECONDARY GOALS:

I don’t know about you, but many people already do this when setting goals.

“Ideally, I’d be able to make $10,000 a month with freelance writing, but if I could make $3,000 a month, I would really be able to tackle my debt.”

“In a perfect world, I would weigh 130 pounds, but if I could be 138, that would be a huge accomplishment and I would feel better about myself.”

“Hopefully, I can spend 3 hours with my kids every day doing activities, but if we can have family dinners 3 times a week and I read to them before bed, that would make me feel like a truly accomplished working mom.”

Give yourself a secondary goal, whatever that looks like to you. Remember, you want to set yourself up for success! Even if you don’t reach that first/ideal goal, you’re going to feel like you’ve made some huge strides in your life and this New Year’s Resolution plan will have been successful!

Have you set your New Year’s Resolution(s) for 2020 yet?!
How to Set New Year’s Resolutions as a Work-at-Home Mom

A few final thoughts on your New Year’s Resolution plan:

The more you write down, the more this will become permanent.

Keep a journal. Message your friends about how it’s going. Make to-do lists. Write down EVERYTHING.

Get other people on board with your goals.

If your children know that you’re trying to get fit, explain why. Include them in your work outs. If your partner knows that you’re trying to build a platform for a start-up business, he or she will hopefully be more understanding of your diminished free-time. There’s a chance that a friend or coworker might be trying to accomplish the same thing you are doing. If that’s the case, you can work on your goals together!

Don’t forget your affirmations to constantly remind yourself of this priority for you.

If you need to, change the way you are doing your affirmations. Maybe you begin a meditation practice, use mandala beads! If you start journalling, include your affirmations there!

Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Effective

Don’t worry about why New Year Resolutions fail. Keep your sights on your goals and be flexible to make them work for your life at any given moment.

***

This New Year’s Resolution action plan helps to set you up for success.

Any measure of success, no matter how small, is important to celebrate. I mean, don’t go celebrate your weight loss with a huge meal, 3 beers, and a piece of chocolate cake, but maybe get the grandparents to watch the kids and go see a movie with your hubby! You know what I mean.

Experts say that building habits takes 21 days… personally for me, it takes MUCH longer. Those first few weeks of changing your routine and your thought cycle is going to be GRUELING! But it WILL get easier as you go along.

What’s your New Year Resolution for 2020?!

How are you helping to set yourself up for success?!

Your Boss Lady New Year Resolution Action Plan

The Boss Lady's New Year Resolution Action Plan.

7 thoughts on “Your Boss Lady New Year Resolution Action Plan”

  1. “we realize that we’ve stretched ourselves too thin and give up entirely, promising ourselves that when we have more time, we’ll start up again.”
    Hmmm. Have you been spying on me?
    Ha ha ha! I know I’m not the only one!
    Girl, I LOVE that you included an Emergency Plan! I love a good plan…bonus points for an emergency one!!

  2. I love that this includes not only a plan b, but also an emergency plan. It makes keeping the resolution seem so much more attainable. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dawn, I love these tips to stay on track! You have left nothing to chance here. I especially love the emergency plan because , lets’s face it, life happens. When you’re already prepared for things to go wrong, it’s so much easier to roll with the punches and still to the goal. Love love love!

  4. This is so smart. I’m feeling pretty inspired to actually make a plan and goals for next year, and I really like the idea of making three plans. Thanks for this!

  5. This is so great! Specificity really is key. I love SMART goals. They really help you flesh out your goals and make them easier to meet. Thanks for all the wonderful insight.

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