Read this to avoid giving up on your resolutions so easily

Read this to avoid giving up on your resolutions so easily

Jan 17, 2024

The year is young and our hopes for a great year are still high. According to the Forbes Health/One Poll survey, these are the most popular 2024 resolutions:

Improve fitness – 48%

Improve finances – 38%

Improve mental health – 36%

Lose weight – 34%

Improve diet – 32%

Here’s the graph for the top 14 resolutions.

Unfortunately, our Emotional Emongs and other factors get in the way of our hopeful Makatwirang Maks such that we end up giving up on our resolutions easily. Let us check the same Forbes Health study to see the fall-out rates.

So, the question is how do we keep ourselves committed to our resolutions? Here are some points to ponder upon so you can arm yourself accordingly, so at the end of the year, you will belong to that elite 1% of people who follow through their life goals.

1. Do I own my resolutions/goals?

How did I come up with my 2024 goals? Are these goals what I really want in my long-term life? Do they align with my core values? Were they dictated upon by others? Was I just riding the bandwagon when I listed down these goals? What stage in my life am I in right now? Am I ready for these things to happen in 2024? Do I want them to happen? How badly do I want them to happen this year? What is my big why?

Answering these questions will be an exercise of early audit of your goals while the year is young. That is why in our goal setting template, we start with our long-term goals and values so that there is an alignment among them.

2. Big goals need smaller mini goals.

Setting big audacious goals don’t just excite us but they stretch us, so it’s good to do so. As the saying goes, “Reach for the stars. If you miss, at least you reach the moon.” However, the downside might be when we keep seeing that huge distance between our star-goals and our current place on earth, we may be disheartened to continue pursuing our big goals. It is like giving ourselves a final mark without taking short quizzes. The solution is to come up with mini goals that are like milestones to tick as we pursue that big one. For example, a big goal to lose 10 pounds this year should be broken down into mini goals of losing one pound every month or so. This way, losing one precious pound after one month can be a legitimate achievement that deserves a celebration (of course, without resorting to big eating).

So, the key is to have periodical assessments of your goals. Make the improvements measurable and more salient in order to fuel your optimism in carrying on with your resolutions.

As a family, we do quarterly goal assessments casually over Sunday lunch.

3. Accountability

Because we are social beings, having someone to be accountable to, helps. This is also the reason why we do our quarterly assessments as a family. Reporting how we fared after three months to the people we care about helps. It keeps us a bit on our toes, and we also get important input and other forms of assistance from one another.

4. Put actions into each goal.

What action should you do in order to achieve your goal? The top two New Year’s resolutions based on the survey are improve fitness and finances. If you have them in your list, what actions are you taking to achieve them? Remember, they will not just happen, you have to DO something to make them happen. For fitness, how many times should you exercise each week? How long per session? How kinds of exercise? What should you do now to make that happen?

For your finances, how much money should you earn each month? How much should you save and invest? What expenses can you take out? Have you taken the FQ Test to determine where you are in your FQ Journey?

5. “White Hack” yourself into fulfilling your goals.

Because of our Emotional Emong, it is not always easy to do the actions discussed in no. 4. There is no need to beat ourselves about that because our Makatwirang Mak can actually “white hack” our everyday life to make it easier for us to do the right things on a regular basis. What do I mean?

White hacks (as opposed to black and gray ones) check their own security system to find loopholes in it, in order to protect it from the black and gray hacks who are out there to steal or just to demonstrate the system’s weaknesses to others. In the same way, we can check for our own loopholes and weaknesses so we know how to protect ourselves.

Let’s go back to the resolution of improving our finances. It is not easy to always save and invest. There will always be things to spend on – real emergencies, not so real emergencies, other temptations. Moreover, there are other obstacles such as “I don’t have time to go to the bank, I’m so busy, I forgot, I might need the money for something,” etc. that make it impossible for us to do our regular saving and investing. The best white hack to this is to automate our saving and investing. Take it out from the source – i.e. the payroll account and let the default bias work its magic to your advantage.

When it comes to our other resolutions/goals, it’s also possible that we forget about them, making us do actions that work against them. My hack to this obstacle, which might also work for you is this: I put your goals on your cellphone screensaver. It is that one thing we always carry around and what better way to remind ourselves everyday of what we set out to achieve this year than to have it on our phones?

Do the same for your other goals. Identify the usual seemingly minor obstacles that get in your way, and white hack your regular life. Design and structure defaults in your everyday life in order to achieve your goals and resolutions as effortlessly as possible.

I hope to see you all in the elite 1% of the population still pursuing resolutions after 12 months. Or better yet, let’s increase that 1% to a higher number by sharing these lessons with your loved ones and the people in your circle of influence.


  1. If you want to know where you are in your FQ journey. Click here.
  2. If you want to know your FQ, buy our books. Click here.
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SINING FILIPINA: The first all-female national art competition in the Philippines is now open for entries until January 31, 2024.

This article is also published in Philstar.