Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Anyone can make a New Year’s resolution, some can even stick theirs out past January, but how can you make sure to keep your New Year’s resolution for the whole year? Here are some tips to help you create and keep your New Year’s resolution:

1. Plan Your Resolution Ahead of Time

Don’t wait until the last minute to set your New Year’s resolution. Try generating a mental, or even a written, list of resolution ideas. Spend some time thinking about your possible resolutions and decide which one (or which ones for the ambitious!) you truly want to set. By putting extra thought into it, you’ll be more likely to keep your New Year’s resolution rather than waiting until December 31 or even January 1 to decide.

2. Choose a Reasonable Goal

Think about it: Are you likely to drop those extra 15 pounds in January alone? Do you expect to kick that smoking habit right away? Will you be able to double your financial savings before Spring Break? Losing weight, breaking a pesky habit, and saving money are very common resolutions made each year. Make sure to keep in mind that goals like these can be challenging and often take longer than expected to accomplish. The trick to help you keep your New Year’s resolution is to make your goals more reasonable and realistic.

3. Figure Out How to Accomplish Your Resolution

Once you’ve set your resolution or resolutions, brainstorm ways to accomplish your goals and decide what it will take to keep your New Year’s resolution. For example, if you decide to eat healthier after the start of the New Year, then you will need to plan for this ahead of time. Make a grocery list; plan your meals for the following week, month, etc.; and most importantly, have your kitchen stocked before January 1 so that you’re ready to begin the New Year right.

4. Make a Schedule

Planning to hit the gym more? Check your local gym for their hours and fitness classes, and then decide what days and times you will go. Heading back to school? Mark registration dates and class schedules on your calendar. You can keep your New Year’s resolution by creating a schedule or calendar of important dates, deadlines, or goals and keeping it somewhere that will be clear and visible to you on a daily basis.

5. A Little Bit at a Time

Some long-term resolutions, like losing weight or saving money, will be more attainable by setting milestones. Instead of expecting to drop 30 pounds right away, set a goal of 2-3 pounds per week or 10 pounds in the first month. To save a large amount of money, make a plan to set aside a certain amount each week or each paycheck. These small milestones will eventually add up to help you keep your New Year’s resolution.

6. Patience is Key

The best ways to keep your New Year’s resolution is to continue reminding yourself of what your goal is, why you set it in the first place, and to keep encouraging yourself to stick with it. It’s also important to remember that long-term changes that you’re trying to make are not going to happen overnight; most likely, they probably won’t happen in the first month. It’s even ok to slip now and then throughout the year, as long as you find a way to get yourself back on track!

Remember, your resolution is a goal you set for the whole year, not just for January or the remainder of the season. You will be more likely to keep your New Year’s resolution by reminding yourself that you have 365 days to meet your goal – 366 days if it’s a Leap Year!

What's the longest amount of time you've kept your New Year's resolution?

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