3 Ways to Keep Your New Year Resolutions and Become Exceptional


Most New Year’s Resolutions are won or lost around this time in January. The reason? We’re half-way through the month. People’s motivations begin to wean.

Do The Work by Stephen Pressfield

Do The Work by Stephen Pressfield

The desire to keep going drains at every passing day because there’s this voice inside of all of us that tells us to stop. The voice is what Author, Stephen Pressfield, calls in his book, “Do the Work”, the Resistance. It is Resistance that says hit the snooze button, you don’t need to pray for 10 minutes today, you ran enough & you don’t need run the full 30 minutes, you can finish that book you’ve been working on another day, and it’s fine to stay status quo. I say tell Resistance that you’re stronger and fight. Fight to beat back the temptation to want to give up – because you know that if you want something bad enough – if you really, really want it – and your motivation is pure and your desire is true — you won’t want to stop. You won’t want to give in to Resistance.

Getting Help from the Experts

Some of my friends in the productivity space have recently written some wonderful articles on this topic and I encourage you to read them.  For example, in +Ciara Conlon‘s latest blog post, she offers 7 ways to keep your goals in 2013. +Craig Jarrow writes about 10 things that can go wrong with your New Year’s Resolution. +Thanh Pham talks about 5 steps to setting New Year’s resolutions and achieving them. They all offer real and practical advice to beating the resistance. Then, buy Pressfield’s book and read it. It’s short, concise, and like a jack hammer beating the down the concrete sidewalk, he helps you beat down the Resistance, re-center and re-focus. (I must add that I’m terribly grateful to +John Winstanley for the recommendation to read the book!) In Seth Godin’s book, The Linchpin: Are you Indispensible, he talks about this concept even more, and encourages you to be indispensable and “ship it” – meaning get that project or goal accomplished and be successful. His follow-up workbook is worth every penny as well. If your goal is get an early start, you’ll want to buy my friend +Andy Traub‘s latest book, “Early to Rise”! Becoming exceptional is within all of our control – and if you need even more help getting there, I absolutely encourage you to listen to +Michael Hyatt‘s “This is Your Life” podcast!

3 Ways to Help Beat the Resistance

It’s been well regarded by most productivity experts, like +Leo Babauta, that it takes 30 days to turn any new routine into a habit. I urge you to commit yourself to becoming better – to becoming exceptional. To help you get there, here’s 3 additional tools for you to help you beat the resistance, achieve your goals, and “ship it”:

1.  Creating Lasting Habits Today workbook. I created this free workbook last year. The purpose of this workbook is have you focus in on three to five things you want to establish as new habits. This is simple and it works – I know because I did it for myself last year! Each page provides room for you to write those new habits down and then as each day passes, check off which ones you did. This helps to keep yourself accountable for your actions. At the end of the week, write down what went right for you … and equally important, where you had some challenges. This both rewards you and provides you with the motivation to get it right the following week! At the end of the month, congratulate yourself for becoming more productive & more successful by creating new and awesome habits that will last!

2.  If want to track your progress with you’re iPhone, download the Lift app.  It’s a beautiful and simple app that allows you to search for, or create, new habits. The additional beauty of this app is that you can share your progress with others who want to achieve the same greatness as you, and you can give them “props” or even comment on how well they’re doing. I’ve gotten four already and I graciously gave out some myself. It is truly encouraging and filled with positive reinforcement! Together, we can all make incredible strides!

3.  Another very good app to help you establish new habits like “Read for 30 minutes” or “Write for 30 Minutes” is a terrific and elegant app called 30/30. Some may use it for task management, but for me, I like to set a timer to know how long I’ve been reading or writing.

Your Next Actions: Share your best practices and tips in the comments below. What tools are you using to help you achieve your goals and become exceptional?


About Daniel Gold

Daniel Gold is a productivity coach, keynote speaker, author, and podcaster. He is most well known for his eBooks, Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done, Simplify your Life with Springpad, and Make it Happen: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your eBook. Daniel is also the co-host of the GTD® Virtual Study Group podcast.