New Year’s Resolutions in Ruins? It’s Not Too Late to Get Back on Track

New Year’s Resolutions in Ruins? It’s Not Too Late to Get Back on Track
Constantine Johnny/Getty Images

By now, you have either established a new habit from your New Year’s resolution … or scrapped it. Most people gave up or forgot about their desired new practice by about, well, Day 10 of 2022. So here we are at the beginning of February – now what?


Well, you have a choice, and that choice begins with the thought you choose to believe. You might be thinking, “Well, so much for that resolution” or, “I can never stick with anything” – thoughts likely leading to despair, discouragement, anger, shame, or guilt for not being strong enough to break a bad habit or keep up a good one. Those feelings are almost certain to result in quitting, giving up, self-loathing, self-deprecation, and/or a cycle of paralysis and rumination.


Or … you could choose to think another thought about your resolution, such as, “Well, I haven’t stuck to my new habit daily, but it’s only February and I have the rest of the year to work on this. I won’t be perfect, but any progress I make is still progress, and that’s what counts!” This type of thinking throws the often not useful “all or nothing” mindset to the curb and allows us to try again another day.


[FEB. 23 MOAA WEBINAR: Mindset: A Critical Key to Success in Career Transition (and Life!)]


Your results are a direct result of your thinking. Thoughts produce feelings that fuel actions (or inaction!). It all begins in your mind. Your circumstances do not dictate your results. It is your thoughts about your circumstances that do!


So how about reevaluating your resolutions, or any habits you have tried to adopt in the past, and think about them in a new way? Be kind to yourself. Let progress over perfection be good enough. In time, you will learn what works for you and before you know it, you will be further ahead than you were when you started.


One way to help instill a new practice is called, “habit stacking.” For example, if you want to drink more water and less coffee, soda, etc., start small – consider staging a glass of water on your nightstand (or by the sink) at night before you go to bed so it is ready for you when you wake up. Drink a glass of water first thing. Or commit to drinking a glass of water before, and in between, drinking anything else. Sound overly simple? Try it out!


So, what are you going to recommit to in February 2022 to work on for the rest of the year?


To learn more about developing a productive mindset and how to ditch an “all or nothing” approach, join MOAA for a Feb. 23 webinar. We’ll discuss ways to develop a resilient mindset by choosing your thoughts in a manner that will move you closer to achieving sustainable results in any area of your life – including military-to-civilian transition!


Seize Your Future: Write to Influence!

Powerful writing often tips the balance between success and failure – tip it in your favor with proven strategies and techniques from the book Write to Influence!, winner of eight national-level awards.


Join the book's author, Life Member of MOAA Col. Carla D. Bass, USAF (Ret), for a MOAA webinar where she will discuss how to make every word count and every second of the reader's time work for you.

Register Now

About the Author

Cmdr. Erin Cardinal, USN (Ret), ACC, CPC
Cmdr. Erin Cardinal, USN (Ret), ACC, CPC

Cardinal is MOAA's Program Director, Transition Services & Family Programs. She is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and has extensive experience in coaching servicemembers through their transition from active duty to the civilian sector.