How to Make a Resolution and Stick to It

It’s that time of year when we start making our New Year’s resolutions. Starting the year off with good intentions and plans about all the things you’re going to accomplish throughout the year feels almost obligatory once January comes around. But setting the goals is one thing – what about actually keeping them? We’ve put together a list of things to remember when setting your resolutions, so you’ll actually want to stick to them:

  • Be realisticBe honest with yourself about the reality of you meeting your goal or keeping to a new habit. A drastic change is difficult to make all at once, so consider breaking it down into small, achievable goals. Similarly, if your resolution isn’t meaningful to you then it’s going to be difficult to stick to. The best resolutions are the ones that are motivated by real change. Think about the impact of what you’re trying to accomplish and what it is about the resolution that is significant to you and your life.
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many resolutionsHaving too many goals will only lead you to feeling overwhelmed, and will make it harder to stay motivated. It’s also likely to contribute to a feeling of failure if you fall behind in one area, and could tempt you to give up entirely. Instead, choose one thing that you would like to change, improve, or work on. Choose something that is likely to impact your life and that can be a continuing project. For example: ‘experiment with new types of exercise’ would allow you to try a variety of different things without ever giving up on your overall resolution.
  • Track your progressKeeping a journal or utilizing a project management app will help you track your progress and stay motivated. Not only does the act of writing something down help you feel more inclined to try and complete it, but it serves as a way to reflect on what you’ve achieved so far. When keeping to resolutions, it can be easier to think about all the things you haven’t done as opposed to all the things you have, which is what they’re all about! Finding a way to measure your results will help keep you motivated.
  • Hold yourself accountableHolding yourself accountable to your resolutions is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you keep to them. This could mean anything from pre-paying for a marathon or exercise classes well in advance, purchasing new equipment or gear, or even just making a social media announcement. Having a physical reminder, or sharing your intentions with your friends and family will hold you accountable and make you more likely to follow through with your resolutions.
  • Celebrate small achievementsCelebrate the smaller stuff! Any increase towards your overall goal is worth acknowledging. Be kind to yourself – if you achieved something today that you didn’t yesterday, feel proud of yourself and the steps you have taken. Breaking a big, scary resolution down into bite-sized chunks of small, attainable goals will inspire you to keep going.
  • Don’t do it aloneThink how much easier it is to push yourself to go to the gym if you’re meeting a friend there. That’s what keeping resolutions should be like. By working with someone, or a group of people, you’ll be motivated to keep going for a variety of reasons: not wanting to let them down, thriving off their motivation, having the moral support. It is so much easier to keep going when you’re not alone. Alternatively, if you and a friend have different goals but want to work together, find time to meet up and discuss your resolutions. Having someone to help you keep up the positive energy will motivate you to push through.

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