How to Make New Year’s Resolutions and Keep Them

If you are like most people, you probably have some New Year’s resolutions but don’t know how to keep them.

With the staggering number of people not being able to follow through with their resolutions, it would seem like they are meant to be broken.

However, creating New Year’s resolutions is a great way to set intentions and goals for the coming year.

When people can’t follow through with their resolutions, there is one problem they often overlook.

What many people don’t realise is that the problem is not that you are incapable of sticking to the resolutions you have identified.

The problem lies in one’s inability to create resolutions that are achievable and actionable. 

As a result, they end up setting themselves up to fall short.

As creatures of habit, it’s understandably challenging for people to make the changes they want.

Unless you have the right environment, good social support, and are very motivated, making lasting behaviour changes can be very tricky for you.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

If you want to give yourself a better chance of following through with your New Year’s resolutions, start with the following smart tips:

Tip 1: Create smaller resolutions.

Let’s assume your goals include spending less money, working out more, and getting promoted at work. All these are great aspirations. However, you have to remember first and foremost that setting resolutions that are too big can cause you to become too overwhelmed.

The first key to success is to zero in on one goal as opposed to three. Then make sure you always do a quick and routine reality check. It is also recommended that you assess the level of commitment required to achieve the objectives and goals you have set. 

From there, you can check and gauge if you will be able to match the commitment required. If you want to swear off chocolate for good, it would help if you limit your chocolate consumption for a month or two and take it from there.

Tip 2: Be specific with your goals.

Another goal many people aim for is saving money. However, many don’t ask the important questions, how and how much. If you don’t have any definable parameters, even your best intentions can get lost in the shuffle.

The more detailed you are, (i.e., I’ll save $50 weekly by eating out less) the easier it will be for you to achieve your goal. Set specific and small goals that can keep you motivated along the way.

Tip 3: Write your goals down.

Those who put their goals in writing often feel a greater sense of accountability and have a higher chance of accomplishing them. Post your objectives, dreams, and goals on your fridge, write them down in your favourite journal, or write them in a dry-erase marker on your bathroom mirror.

It would also be a good idea to keep a journal so you can reflect on your progress. Genuine and honest reflection can help you see the many ways you may be sabotaging yourself and your efforts. In addition, keeping a journal can also help you effectively recognise any destructive patterns of behaviour.

Tip 4: Share your resolutions with someone you trust.

When you make your resolutions public, you are likely to achieve them. Why? Sharing your goals can keep you accountable so it’s harder for you to back out. While writing on your bathroom mirror and journal can help, they don’t count as other people.

In line with this, share your goals and resolutions for the year with someone you trust. Have that person hold you accountable to ensure you stay on track. Better yet, get that person on board so you are both working towards the same goal.

Tip 5: Plan your follow through.

Decide that your resolutions should not be just another item on your to-do list. If you have to find a way to make your goals happen, it is likely that you will decide whether you want to do it or not based on how you feel. Often, if you base things on how you feel, you will rarely get anything done.

Plot out your monthly budget or schedule a week’s worth of workouts each Sunday so you don’t know how to fit your goals in your schedule. It would also help if you attach your goals to other activities. For instance, if you want to meditate more, plan the nightly session after you write things down in your journal.

Over to You

Lastly, if you want to achieve your New Year’s resolutions, believe you can achieve it. One way to make any lasting change is to believe you can achieve anything wholeheartedly. Also, when you achieve any of your goals, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate. Then check the achieved goal off your list and time to create a new one.

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