Tips for making New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually stick to

Tips for making New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually stick to
Source: Pexels, Polina Kovaleva

Every year we attempt to improve ourselves with New Year’s resolutions. But as motivated and excited as we may be at the start of January, sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are hard to stick to. We have some tips for you this year on making New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually stick to – so you can truly achieve the goals you’d like to set for yourself throughout 2021.

Choose specific New Year’s resolutions

Many of us have made resolutions to lose weight, save money or eat healthy; but how many of us have resolved these? Refrain from making such ambiguous New Year’s resolutions, and rather focus on curating more concrete goals which you can realistically set your sights on.

Instead of “I will get into shape," which is not specific, try “I want to go to the gym three times a week." Choosing a more concrete and achievable resolution will allow you to plan how you intend to achieve your goal through the course of the year. It is important to ensure that your goals are realistic rather than drastic. In other words, being more specific with your goals will increase your chances of achieving them.

Limit your resolutions

You may have a long list of potential New Year’s resolutions; we get that. But the reality is that ven achieving one small goal can boost your motivation and oftentimes, the fewer the better. Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at Hertfordshire University, says that choosing and focusing on one specific goal is much more meaningful than struggling to achieve a number of different objectives.

Trying to achieve several goals at one time can be demanding and daunting, and ultimately leads people to give up on their New Year’s resolutions. It can be particularly challenging as developing new behavioral patterns takes time and sustained effort. Focusing on a singular goal makes maintaining a resolution much more achievable.

Make a plan for your New Year’s resolutions

Choosing a specific goal and devising a detailed plan are essential parts of achieving any resolution. Experts suggest that brainstorming is a meaningful tactic to analyze the reasons for choosing your goals, the actions you intend to take to achieve your goals and how you will measure the success of your actions.

Creating a plan for your resolutions will also allow you to consider the tactics you will use to deal with challenges and how you intend to remain motivated and inspired to make your resolutions a reality. You can start by writing down your goal, making a list of actions you may need to take to achieve that goal, and considering any obstacles or issues that you may encounter. Identifying the specific details of what you intend to accomplish and the challenges you may face will ensure that you are better prepared to maintain your resolution and overcome any obstacles that may result in setbacks to your progress.

Your resolutions are a process

Most of us make resolutions to change unhealthy or undesired habits, which probably took us years to develop, so how can we expect to change them in just a matter of days?

It is important to understand that achieving your resolutions will take time, so remember to be patient and kind to yourself. Even if you make a few mistakes, it does not mean that you are not destined to fail your resolutions.

If you indulge in a sweet treat or take a break from your workout once in a while, remember not to punish yourself. And, if you manage to adhere to your resolutions for an entire week, treat yourself!

While it may take longer than you would like to achieve your goals, remind yourself of the bigger picture: you have committed to a behavioral and lifestyle change – which is an accomplishment in itself – but also it may be a change that you continue to work on for the rest of your life.

Stay motivated

Choosing a resolution to remain committed to for an entire year – and ideally for the rest of your life – will be challenging, to say the least. If you have struggled to maintain your New Year’s resolutions in the past, remember not to lose hope. Remain driven to achieving your resolutions by finding ideas, advice or even inspiration from like-minded friends, co-workers or motivational speakers. Films, books or online forums can also be useful tools to ignite the motivation you will need to keep yourself on track.

Begin the year with a setup for success. Create meaningful, measurable and actionable goals that will contribute to your well-being – and not simply a goal that others want to hear.