8 Ways to Actually Keep A New Year’s Resolution

ALLYSON KO / AGGIE

Tips to stay on track with New Year’s goals

New Year’s resolutions are a time-old tradition we create for ourselves the second the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Many people ring in the new year with goals and desires in mind, but research shows that about 80 percent of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the time February rolls around. There are, however, a couple of tips and tricks to help those resolutions stick.

 

1. Get excited

Oftentimes New Year’s resolutions are events or fun things people want to happen that year. Some, though, are about resolving something about oneself, and those who stick to their personal resolutions establish the ‘why’ before the ‘how.’ The motivation to accomplish a resolution comes from true excitement and passion behind the goal-setting. When a resolution has more purpose, people are generally more motivated to complete it when there is a reason behind wanting to accomplish the goal.

 

2. Write it down

It sounds old-school, but writing down a New Year’s resolution is a powerful strategy to accomplish it. Writing out a plan makes the end result less intimidating, and checking off what has already happened feels satisfying and motivating. Those who can make lists, plan a strategy and review it everyday develop a sense of focus on the goals set before them and simultaneously bring order to the ideas in their head.

 

3. Keep it simple

Although it’s understandable that the new year is a fitting opportunity to completely flip one’s life around, goals that are too grand are the ones hardest to achieve. Self-improvement is a typical route to take when creating resolutions, but focusing on simple changes rather than big life-alterations is a good approach in order to follow through with a goal.

 

4. Set realistic goals

It’s important to consider one’s previous experiences with resolutions. If resolutions have failed in the past, the possible reasons behind that failure can help direct the person to create a more realistic goal. Setting goals that are aimed too high opens the door for giving up, which can lead to disappointment and guilt, yet these are the kinds of feelings New Year’s resolutions are designed to avoid.

 

5. Team up

Some of those resolutions that involve activities like exercising more or eating a healthy diet can be intimidating to do alone. Not only can a friend give advice and tips, but it’s more fun to do the activities with another person as well as compare progress. A friend can be a motivating force behind achieving the goal, because you are going to try to avoid disappointing them and they can support you when times get tough.

 

6. Couple it with existing habits

Some resolutions can be made more achievable when coupled with a person’s contemporary lifestyle. If it’s a small daily goal, completing that goal with a regular activity that already exists is a surefire way to fit that resolution into a daily routine. When there is an existing foundation, it’s easier for people to grow and build upon that in order to accomplish their goals.

 

7. Stay true to yourself

The quickest way to drop a resolution is if it doesn’t align with one’s values. Therefore, it’s important to pick a goal that fits existing values in order to sustain a resolution over a long period of time. Once this happens, it takes less effort and energy to think about the resolution, and it becomes less of a challenge and more of an enjoyable part of life.

 

8. Don’t give up

Slip-ups happen, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to give up. It’s important to remember achievements and avoid becoming critical of oneself. Allowances for slip-ups are a helpful way to achieve the end result because perfect goals are too tough for even the most disciplined people to reach. Ultimately, confidence and high self-esteem are the keys to sticking with a New Year’s resolution.

 

Written by: Marlys Jeane — features@theaggie.org