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Follow these 6 tips from an entrepreneur to make New Year resolutions and lasting goals in 2024

Sawdah Bhaimiya   

Follow these 6 tips from an entrepreneur to make New Year resolutions and lasting goals in 2024
  • Keeping New Year's resolutions for a full 12 months can prove difficult.
  • Entrepreneur Mimi Ikonn shared six valuable insights about making goals with Business Insider.

Making New Year's resolutions is an age-old tradition that sees people around the world sit down and reflect on their big goals for the coming year — only to abandon them a few weeks later.

A recent Forbes Health survey of 1,000 adults in the US found that the average New Year's Resolution lasts just 3.74 months with only 6% of respondents sticking to their goals until December.

Meanwhile, the series of dates celebrating the failure of New Year's resolutions such as "Quitter's Day" on the second Friday of January and "Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day" on January 17 suggests there's a gap between making goals and actually turning them into lifelong changes.

Mimi Ikonn, the cofounder of wellness brand Intelligent Change and a social media influencer, told Business Insider that making lasting changes requires a holistic approach.

"We have to keep in mind that unless we make these fundamental subconscious changes, nothing is going to change in our life because we are guided every day to make decisions based on our subconscious mind," Ikonn said in an interview.

"It literally makes more than 95% of all the decisions we make. So unless we change certain habits day to day and rewire the way the brain works, nothing is going to change in our lives because we go back to our old habits."

Ikonn offered six valuable insights about keeping New Year's resolutions.

Your goals should encompass your identity

Ikonn said that Intelligent Change launched tools that were based on the founders' personal lives to help users develop goals based on all of the different facets of their identity.

Ikonn said you have to look at "your whole life as a system."

"So you are not just somebody who works, you're somebody who has relationships, you're somebody who has a relationship to self, and has spiritual practises."

She suggests viewing goals like slices of a pie or even an umbrella and slotting them into each section like it's a different facet of your life.

But she warned against making too many goals and instead to narrow it down to three to five ultimate goals for the year.

"I think the reason people fail is because we can be a little bit over ambitious about our capabilities and we set out too many goals and then we quickly disappoint ourselves and the moment we disappoint ourselves, we feel deflated and then we just stop trying," Ikonn explained.

Your goals should align with your values

The most important thing to consider when setting a goal is the "why" factor which can help you determine the motivation behind achieving the goal.

"If you have a strong 'why,' you will find a way to get there, and if you don't, most likely you won't," Ikonn said.

An exercise that can help you determine your "why" could be creating a list of values before you write down your goals for the year.

"Once you create the values, when you create the goals, it's so much easier to see if your goals are aligned with your values and then that allows you to create a bigger vision of your life."

Find an 'accountability partner'

The saying "moving in silence" is a popular sentiment meaning working on your goals in private is more rewarding because you're cutting out external judgment.

However, according to Ikonn, this isn't necessarily true, and can be a mistake. In fact, sharing your goals with others is actually a worthwhile pursuit because it will encourage you to not give up.

"I think one thing that people miss out on is having accountability partners," she said. "The more people you tell about your goals and dreams, the more chances you're going to actually do it."

An accountability buddy can be a friend or family member who you can check in with every week.

"Accountability is huge when it comes to forming any new habits," Ikonn said. "Sometimes we need a little bit of support from our community and it can make a world of a difference."

Share your goals on social media

Similar to having an accountability buddy, sharing your resolutions on social media can actually put gentle pressure on you to achieve them.

Ikonn said that one of her goals in 2024 was to do more public speaking and she decided to share this on social media. People started inviting her to more events and giving her the opportunities to do so as a result.

"So it is fascinating what happens once you put it out there into the world, whether you do it on your social media, whether you do it in person with your friends in your community, where people will hear what you're doing, and they will connect you with the right person. They will tell you about a workout program or maybe a new job opportunity."

Mood boards do actually work

The hashtag #newyearmoodboard has almost a million views on TikTok with users putting together aesthetic collages of images and quotes that often represent their dream life.

Although it may just look like a fun activity, Ikonn says there's a deeper reason behind why it can work.

"There's a part of our brain called the reticular activating system, which helps us filter through all the information that we are faced with every single day because we're overwhelmed by all this information.

"So when you focus on something specific, it allows your brain to filter for opportunities and people and ways to get to those opportunities."

However, it's not just about creating the vision board, you actually have to do the work and take actions to bring the dreams to life but it's "extremely helpful to visualize where you're going."

Keep track of your goals

You've created your list of goals, found yourself an accountability buddy, and ensured that it aligns with your values and long-term vision for your life. Now, how do you make sure it actually sticks?

Ikonn says your goals have to be "very clear and actionable and something you can measure." You should also avoid being vague.

"For example, instead of saying, 'Oh I want to be healthier' you can say, 'I want to start running three times a week' or 'I'm going to take three yoga classes a week' or 'I'm going to do this workout program on an app and I'm going to commit to it five times a week.'"

The next step is breaking those goals down into actionable steps to schedule into our months and weeks because "things we don't schedule will never get done."

Ikonn emphasized that it's not always possible to do something everyday.

"In real life, there will be times when we feel unwell, when our family needs us, when work needs us more than usual, and we'll be unable to actually keep the habit going. But the truth is we can always pick up where we left off and restart the habit at any point in time."

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