It has been a month into 2018. Have you kept your resolutions so far?

A New Year, much like property, sells the dream of creating that fresh start – a new life, a new you. While studies show that only 44% of new-year-resolutions are even kept within the first six months, a recent article by Psychology Today points that making New Years Resolutions is related to a happier life. In fact, people who make New Years Resolutions are “10 times more likely to make a positive change in their lives.”

So is it a good idea to make a New Years Resolution? We believe the answer to that is yes. We also believe that there are strategies Resolution makers can adopt into their lives to realize the dream of having a “New Year, New You.” Even if you start today, because it is never too late!

Our strategies may not be innovative, but they are a true underrated classic.

Have you heard of the 5S Process? To those who have spent some time in Japan, or worked with Japanese manufacturers this may sound familiar. The 5S Process gives structure everyday living: from seeing through a full-scale renovation to the workplace.

What is in the 5S Process?

1. SEIRI – 整理(せいり)
Seiri is the first step – start your resolution with Tidiness. Be it tidiness of the mind, or the home if your resolution is to simply start anew, or the workplace if your resolution is to a more productive year, starting with Seiri is not about being clean or organized (which are different sections of the 5S Process), to start with Seiri means to throw away things of the past. Seiri is about learning to let go: especially of things that hinder you from your goal or muddle your path towards that goal. It could be throwing away rubbish that in retrospect you don’t need, letting go of people who are toxic to you, or things that are unrelated to your goal.

Seiri could simply mean to begin your resolution by simplifying it. Start with small and simpler mini-goals. Complete them one at a time. For example, if your goal is to renovate your dream home, begin with a more matter-of-fact list of needs – or at least a list of wants filtered and tidied up into a list of needs.

2. SEITON – 整頓(せいとん)
The next step to the 5S Process is Seiton – being Organized. However, being organized the Seiton way is not done by alphabetizing your bookshelf – it is about maximizing efficiency, placing the metaphorical books in the most metaphorically most logical way so it can be taken from and returned to the same place.

Why is it so important to arrange items in such a way? Seiton helps you save time and, most importantly, organize your mind so you don’t lose your way.

So how do you practice Seiton in the mind? The simple answer is through practice with your own things. Start by organizing your clothes, kitchen utensils, or even your books. Keep the habit and over time it will transfer seamlessly to the way you approach your goal.

3. SEISOU – 清掃(せいそう)
Seisou means “Shine” and “To Sweep” – in manufacturing the point of Seisou is to prevent machinery from deterioration – or at least to delay it. Seisou/Cleaning also keeps things look pleasing. Much like machinery, motivation deteriorates when surroundings are not clean. The beauty with starting anew is the idea of having a clean slate.

It is easy to lose your initial passion – especially as time and the challenges it poses can feel overwhelming. A clean physical space can help make you at least feel like you can restart anew – and maybe return to what initially inspired you.

4. SEIKETSU – 清潔(せいけつ)
Seiketsu is about creating a standard for the three S’s above. Standardizing could mean a lot of things – in the workplace it is about creating standards for the whole team to follow, when it comes to reaching your goal, standardizing is another way to keep track. It could be setting up an everyday routine with a step towards your goal in the schedule. If you are renovating your home it could be making sure that the project is as tidy, organized and clean as your life has been in your pursuit of this goal.

5. SHITSUKE – 躾(しつけ)
Finally, Shitsuke is about discipline – arguably the hardest part of the 5S Process. Shitsuke is about being consistent and persistent when it comes to your goal. However, perhaps it would be inaccurate to say that Shitsuke is about forcing yourself to keep up with your goal. Shitsuke is about building good habits, even after you have achieved your goal.

Adopting the 5S Process may not be easy, but it will be worth it.

In a lot of ways starting the new year with 5S could be a resolution in itself. There are always challenges in any goal, big or small. What the 5S Process ultimately does is simplify your way – and that is the biggest challenge to adopting the 5S Process: many don’t see its immediate benefits. This is because ultimately, the 5S Process is really about the process, not the results.

However, as many have learned through time and experience, turning a new leaf does not simply happen overnight. Follow through happens one step at a time. All you need is to get through each step, only then can you experience true positive change in your life.