10 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions

10 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions

New Year's resolutions are as much a part of the holiday tradition as eggnog and mistletoe. But even if you're determined to stick to your resolution this year, statistically, the odds are against you with more than 80% of resolutions failing before February. However, that doesn't have to be how your story goes. Here are ten tips for making sure that you keep your resolution all year long.

 

Feel free to bookmark this blog to refer to throughout the year. 

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Set a Concrete Goal

When it comes to setting resolutions, it's crucial to set specific and concrete goals, and these milestones will help you stay on track. For example, don't just resolve to "get in shape" – instead, try to set a specific goal. For example, running 10 miles each week.

Spelling out your goals in detail can help you achieve them. You can easily track if you've run a mile every day, opposed to convincing yourself that running to catch the bus counts.

 

Make a List of Reasons You're Making a Change

Knowing your why is a powerful tool in helping you stick to your resolutions, especially when times get tough.

It may be tough to generate enough energy and willpower to make a strong turn toward change until you understand why you're clinging like a burr to old habits and routines. Unhealthy actions, such as overeating and smoking, provide quick, pleasurable satisfaction. Furthermore, bad habits are easy to stick to because of that instant gratification.

When the balance of pros and cons tips in your favor, adopting a new behavior becomes easier than continuing to stand still. Engaging in pleasurable aspects of an unhealthful habit without the habit itself also aids.

For example, if you enjoy smoking while on break, take the break, but find healthier things to do, chewing some gum or checking your email. Otherwise, you'll be fighting a headwind, and your chances of achieving long-term success will be reduced.

 

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Plan and Strategize

Having a plan can be a key to successfully keeping your New Year's resolutions. First, you should set a goal and plan every step needed to reach it. Then, follow the plan. And based on your experience, modify the plan as needed. 

Be prepared to adjust to a changing landscape by anticipating possible obstacles before they arise. With a strategy in place to overcome or work around these obstacles, you can successfully stick with your goals.

 fireworks over city

 

Start Small and Change One Behavior at a Time

Although it may seem intimidating to tackle something as big as "eating healthier," you can actually start small by changing just one behavior. 

For example, rather than trying to go cold-turkey on all your binge eating habits, try replacing one of the foods you find yourself binging on with a healthier alternative. This way, you can still satisfy your cravings without all the guilt or shame of overeating.

Also, when you focus on more than one thing, you are only giving each task a percentage. Instead, you should put all of your focus on one task at a time.

 

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[Related: How much fish oil should I take?]

 

Shift Your Strategy as Needed

Shifting your strategy can also help you keep your resolutions. Another way to maintain your new year's resolution is to shift your strategy if your resolution isn't working. For example, if you are suffering from a mental barrier to keeping your New Year's Resolution, use the following steps:

  • Identify the roadblocks that are preventing you from sticking to your resolutions—for example, identifying that you have an irrational fear of success that is causing you to procrastinate on reaching your goal.
  • Figure out if there are any ways of dealing with the roadblocks. Some methods of dealing with irrational fears are to remove all factors in life that cause this fear, replace these beliefs with rational beliefs, or consider the benefits/punishments for not completing this goal.

 

Don't Beat Yourself Up

It's easy to beat yourself up when you find yourself off track of your resolutions. Don't do this to yourself, though. Focusing on the negative like this can just make your resolution feel impossible for you. Instead, reflect on what caused you to go off track and figure out ways to avoid this roadblock. For example, if you resolved to avoid certain foods, and you find it difficult for social reasons, try proposing restaurants where you'll have options more compatible with your goals. 

running track 

 

Limit Your Resolutions

The new year is a tempting time to try to improve multiple areas. However, making all of these changes at once will be difficult to maintain throughout the year. Because of the strategy, willpower, and work involved, we recommend choosing one to two resolutions that are the most important to you and sticking to those. You can even make a list of your potential resolutions and their implications to weigh out and choose from. 

 

Don't Go It Alone if Possible

Besides having a plan to reach your goal, it's always good to have an accountability partner. This is someone who will keep you in check, so you can't let yourself off the hook too easily. They may also be there to help motivate you when you need it most. Having a friend to walk with you or share successes will make it easier to keep your resolutions.

 

Celebrate your wins

Setbacks are inevitable when trying to make any change in your life, but that doesn't mean you should give up altogether. It's important to celebrate even small wins along the way.

 woman with confetti

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This could be something as simple as taking a few minutes to reflect on what you've accomplished or telling your friends and family about it. Celebrating your wins will help keep you motivated and remind you that you're making progress, even when things get tough. Just make sure that you don't celebrate by doing things that aren't compatible with your resolutions. For example, you wouldn't want to celebrate a weight loss milestone with a day of indulgent eating that erases your progress. 

 

Remember That Change is a Process

It is said that it takes about twenty-one days to create a new habit. That's why it's so important to keep trying with your resolutions, even if you feel like they are not working. The same goes for people trying to quit smoking or lose weight is not always easy, and there are going to be moments where you are tempted or have cravings. If temptation comes, plan for what you will do instead of giving in to temptation. This is why rewards are an essential part of the process.

 

Bottom Line

One way to keep your New Year's Resolutions is not to make resolutions but to make goals instead. Goals are more likely to be completed because they aren't as lofty as resolutions which often involve giving up something like drinking alcohol or eating junk food. Goals can also be changed for little victories that have been attained, whereas resolutions typically have a start and an end date which lessens the sense of gratification one feels when accomplished.

 

Want to share your resolution? Comment Below!