New Year’s Resolutions

Many of us do not stick to our New Year’s resolutions, but there are many simple and easy steps we can take to ensure that our New Year’s resolutions actually stick this year.

The first step is to pick just one New Year’s resolution to stick to this year. The reason for this is quite simple. The reason most of us fail our New Year’s resolutions is due to how overwhelmed we get by our lofty ambitions. At the beginning of the year, we highly overestimate our ability to stick to new commitments and plan as if we are superhuman. By choosing just one resolution, we are much more likely to stick to it because one resolution is fairly easy to manage. However, even just one resolution can get incredibly overwhelming. 

This leads me to step number 2: take it slow. If you set incredibly high goals for yourself, you will get discouraged incredibly quickly. For example, if you aim to lose weight this year, going for a goal like 40 pounds is incredibly hard. Very quickly you will see stalls in progress, delays, and little advancement towards your large goal; all of this will leave you feeling unmotivated and have you forget why you started in the first place. If you just aim to lose, let’s say, two pounds, it will be much easier to see progress towards your goal and you will feel much more motivated to keep going. After you lose two pounds, you can aim to lose two more and the cycle repeats. If you slowly build up to your goals, you are much more likely to have much more constant motivation because your goals will not seem insurmountable. However, even the smallest goals are going to be difficult to achieve without a clear plan.

After you pick one goal and break it down, write down your plan. Be incredibly specific with what exactly you will be doing, when you will do it, who you will do it with, how you will do it, and (this is a big one) why you are doing it. By knowing exactly what you are going to be doing every day to accomplish your goal, you will never lose sight or be overwhelmed or confused. I would also recommend tracking your progress because this helps you stay accountable and get a good idea of how much change you are really inducing in your life. This strategy can help motivate you to keep going on the days that you do not want to and help you see where you are lacking. For example, if you were aiming to exercise once-a-week this year, you might miss a week or two without even realizing it simply because you did not track it; but if you are able to see that you have missed a week or two then you will be much more likely to actually go to the gym. But even if you end up messing up a lot, don’t let that discourage you. 

I hope that these three simple tips help you this year. Good luck with your resolutions, and have a happy new year!