Making your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
The New Year brings with it a promise for greatness, and foreshadows the amazing times to come. Many of us make resolutions about goals, wishes, or dreams we hope to accomplish in the New Year. The problem is, all too many of these resolutions are sadly abandoned sometime in mid-January—and, though we try to fight the obstacles placed before us (or mere laziness), we slip back into our old habits soon enough.
If you want to improve yourself or do something big in the New Year, here are some tips for making your resolutions stick.
Be concrete. Figure out exactly what you want out of the new year, and be specific with your wishes. It’s extremely difficult to achieve, or even start to work towards vague or lofty goals. Instead of pledging to “have more fun”, for example, try “take an art class” or “learn a new sport”. (This will also make yourself more accountable, because those goals are actually in your reach!)
Strategize. Many resolutions are abandoned just because they seem “impossible” to achieve. If you really want to accomplish something, make sure you’re being realistic and honest about the work you need to do. How long will it take you to reach your goal? What steps do you have to take to get there? Specifically, if you have a very ambitious goal in mind, you can set monthly strategies or steps for yourself to work your way towards success come December.
Write it down. January is the perfect time to break out a new day planner (you can start at the beginning of the book!). Put those pages to good use and mark in reminders or specific goals at regular intervals throughout the months. It also helps to keep a master list of everything you wanted out of the year, and why, so you can go back to it if you ever need inspiration. (You can also record your thoughts electronically if you prefer.)
Stay accountable. One of the best strategies for achieving your goals is to make them public—that way, you will feel more motivated and compelled to follow through! You can make resolutions with a friend on New Year’s Eve, and commit to supporting one another throughout the year. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or family member to check in with you or provide support when you need it.
Re-evaluate. Don’t be afraid to rethink some of the goals you set (especially if they were unrealistic or vague in the first place). This doesn’t mean you’re being wishy-washy—maybe, throughout the year, you just figured out that you wanted something different altogether. The important thing is to replace your resolutions with new, productive, and meaningful goals so you can stay on track, even if your plans change a little bit. Don’t use this step as a cop-out or an excuse to not achieve anything all year long.