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“I find it really hard to stick to my digital resolutions, what do I do?”

Hi there, Ask Trish readers! I hope you’re all well and having a great start to January. Welcome back to another week of Ask Trish!

Thanks so much to this week’s question-er for the fantastic question. First and foremost, congratulations on creating digital resolutions! That’s so awesome – give yourself a pat on the back. (For those of you who haven’t created digital resolutions, don’t worry; it’s not too late! Go check out my post from late last year on giving ourselves the “digital gift” of a better relationship with our devices – during the holidays and certainly, into the New Year.)  Rest assured that no doubt, many of us are plagued with similar problems as we take on our 2024 digital resolutions (me included!). Making a commitment is easy, but keeping that commitment can be difficult. Especially early on, it can be tough to hold yourself accountable and create a habit. (All that’s to say – don’t feel too bad about it being hard to stick to your digital resolutions. You’re not alone!)

So…what to do? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to keeping digital resolutions. But I thought it might be helpful for you to read about how I make – and keep – digital resolutions. So…find below a list of the ways I hold myself accountable and have slowly (but surely!) started to create a new relationship with my devices/digital content this year. I hope that some of these ideas inspire you!

  1. Accountability buddy: A good friend of mine and I agreed to be accountability buddies for each other when it came to sticking to our 2024 digital resolutions. She was a good pick for a lot of reasons – we’re close, so I feel comfortable sharing with her; because she knows me so well, it’s tough to fib to her; and she follows me on social media, so she can see, for instance, if I’m (as I said I would!) adding authentic, supportive comments to friends’ social media posts and being more vulnerable and open with the content I’m sharing. If there’s someone you’d feel comfortable having as an accountability buddy, this is a great way to ensure you stick to your digital resolutions.

  2. Journaling: I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who is much more likely to stick to something if I can see how it’s helping me. But with digital resolutions, sometimes, it can take a while to see the effects of our commitments (or, amidst the busyness of our lives, it can be tough to actually notice all of the effects!). To counter that, two or three times a week, I spend about 5-10 minutes just briefly journaling how I feel my digital resolutions are helping me. (For instance, “Deleting XYZ app has really made me feel more comfortable in my skin; for instance, yesterday, I did ABC thing I would’ve never done in 2023. My brain also feels so much less cluttered without all of those notifications!”) This is a great way to remind yourself how powerful your digital resolutions are – and give yourself the motivation to stick to them.

  3. Rewards: This one’s pretty intuitive – every time I stick to a digital resolution, I reward myself. One of my digital resolutions was to reach out to friends I hadn’t been in touch with and connect with them virtually; earlier this week, I did just that, and as a reward, I gave myself a piece of chocolate. Positive reinforcement is powerful, folks! Give yourself a pat on the back for making good on your digital resolutions – and you may just find that they’re easier to stick to.

  4. Incremental goals: I’ve also tried to break up my digital resolutions into little weekly or monthly goals. This makes them feel more manageable (and thus makes it much more likely that I’ll actually stick to them!). For instance, I’ve tried some new time limits on various apps this year – but rather than immediately slash my app time, I’m actually slowly reducing the amount of time I’m spending on the apps week by week. This has made it a lot easier to stick to this resolution – and every time I cut the time I’m spending on an app, I feel proud. When in doubt, break your resolution up – and tackle it one goal at a time. 

Again, I hope that these suggestions were helpful! Good luck sticking to your digital resolutions – you can do it (I believe in you)! Oh, and one other thing – if there’s anything else internet-related on your mind, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and questions with me here. It truly takes no more than 2 minutes (and for lots of folks, just about 30 seconds!) to complete the form. #supereasy So go for it – share what you’re wondering about. I look forward to learning from you!

Have a great week,

Trish


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