How to Make New Year Resolutions Work

Resolution written on paper

For many years, I made New Year’s Resolutions and failed miserably. I struggled with making the same mistake every year until I read the shocking statistics about the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions.

 About 91 percent of Americans who make resolutions fail to complete them.  In another study, 23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week, and 43% quit by the end of January.

I realized that by making New Year’s resolutions like most Americans, I was doomed to fail to accomplish my dreams. 

After careful study, reflection on the scriptures, and listening to motivational and inspirational speakers, I realized I was trying to make the best of each year the wrong way.

After careful reflection, study, taking action, and achieving phenomenal success in my New Year resolutions, I learned that there are principles that work for anyone regardless of race, gender, or religious beliefs.

One of the lessons I learned about success in making New Year resolutions is from a tiny creature whom I have made my alter ego- the ant.

In the book of Proverbs in the Holy Scripture, the author asks a lazy person to find inspiration from the life of an ant, a tiny creature, by all comparisons to other creatures God created.

Why? The ant is a small creature that has no leader to guide it. Yet the ant, in collaboration with other ants, labors to gather food and have enough food to last throughout winter.

The moral of this lesson about the ant’s life is this: you don’t need to do many things in 2024 to have a successful year.

It is the simple disciplines that you do minute by minute, hour by hour, day to day, week to week, and month to month that accumulate to having a great year.

The bottom line is that discipline is vital for accomplishing New Year resolutions.

Here is an excellent quote about discipline that you need to know.

Discipline is just doing the same thing the right way whether anyone’s watching or not- Michael J Fox.


In addition to having discipline, here are a few things you must understand to achieve your resolutions 

It’s hard to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. But it’s possible to make them come true.

At the beginning of each project, there will be obstacles to overcome, but with persistence and determination, you can overcome every hindrance and accomplish your resolutions.

Know your values.

Values are the beliefs that guide our actions and decisions in life. They tell us what is important and meaningful to you. Finding out what matters to you to accomplish your goals would be best. Here is another way to define your values: What would you do if you were pressured about your relationship, finances, and career? The choice you make under pressure reflects what is important. Making this self-discovery about yourself will enable you to succeed at your New Year resolutions. There are some tools available to help you identify and clarify your values. The Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ) is a helpful tool to assist you in understanding your values.

Understand the difference between dreams and goals.

To accomplish your New Year’s resolutions, you must understand that making resolutions is like having a dream to achieve a project. Dreams are like having a wish in the sense that they are vague. For your dreams come true, you must plan and work to make them a reality. The key to accomplishing resolution is not just to make them but to make plans to turn your dreams into reality.

Make a plan to work on your goals.

You now know what you want to achieve. You have made resolutions and set goals that reflect your values. It’s time to work on making your resolutions stick.

How do you accomplish your goals? Make achieving your goals your priority.

Focus on spending 80%  of your time on achieving your goals. 

Work on your priorities daily and weekly and track your progress in achieving your dream. 

What If you find you need to make more progress with your goals?

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

You can still achieve your objectives.

The mistake you can create in attaining goals is underestimating the time and effort required to accomplish them. 

You will be surprised to know you accomplished your goals for a year if you allocated adequate time and resources.

The rule is never to underestimate what you can achieve in a year and overestimate what you can accomplish in a day.

Learn to Fail Forward.

It would be best to learn that failing is part of success.  Why? Because when you start to do any task, you will likely do it poorly.

To become competent in a field, you must first learn to practice poorly. 

Remember this quote:

“Every master was first a disaster.”

And you will never allow mistakes or the fear of failure to stop you next time you fail at accomplishing a goal.

Remember, you will fail at first when you set out to work on your goals, but if you learn from your mistakes and move on, you have a better chance of accomplishing your goals.

Never give up! Have courage.

You must have the courage to make resolutions and stick with them until you achieve them.

Courage is a critical factor in turning your dreams into reality.

The reason 9% achieve their resolutions while the other 91%  of Americans fail is not allowing their fear of failure to stop them from making them.

To act even when you are afraid is courage.

It would be best if you dared to make your New Year’s resolutions come true.


Here are a few quotes that will inspire and motivate  you to develop  courage:

All our dreams can come true if we dare to pursue themWalt Disney.


We must have the courage to bet on our ideas, to take the calculated risk, and to act. Everyday living requires courage if life is to be effective and bring happiness.- Maxwell Matz

True courage is being afraid and going ahead and doing your job anyhow; that’s what courage is. –Norman Schwarzkopf

You now know what it takes to make your New Year resolutions stick until you accomplish them.  Do this stuff.