New Year’s Eve—a time for gathering with friends and family and watching another year emerge.
We toast our glasses and count down until the brand new year is suddenly upon us, and make resolutions for becoming healthier and happier during the next twelve months.
And while some New Year’s goals can be challenging to adhere to, you don’t have to worry—read on for 22 of the best ways to make your New Year’s resolutions stick!
1. Start Small
Many people feel the need to start with big New Year’s resolutions, but this can often be the downfall of your goals. Instead of tackling all your proposed life changes at once, begin with a small first step.
It’s perfectly fine to start with a smaller resolution that is manageable—that way, you can figure out what works for you and increase the commitment level and difficulty over time for a more successful process.
2. Add It to Your Schedule
At times, it can be difficult to stick to a New Year’s resolution because of time constraints. However, this can be overcome by putting the steps to achieve your goal right in your schedule.
If you want to hit the gym more, schedule it into your weekly routine like any other appointment. And keep to it! Instead of putting off your scheduled resolution steps when they come up on the calendar, embrace their priority and do them.
3. Take Your Time
Changes take time, so it’s important to let yourself have it. Don’t expect alterations in your mindset or lifestyle to occur overnight. Instead, assess the situation and give yourself the time to make changes happen.
4. Share Your Goals With Friends & Family
While doing so too early can be imprudent, letting your family and friends know your resolutions and goals can help you stick to them better. Support from your social circle is very important to motivate you to complete your resolutions successfully.
5. Avoid Repeating Past Failures
It seems that people often make the same resolutions every New Year, but this can be a massive stumbling block to success.
Instead of repeating a situation you tried to complete and were unsuccessful in, evaluate your previous choices. Why did the resolution fail? What can you do differently? Avoid repeating the exact steps to the same goal year after year.
6. Believe in Yourself & Your Abilities
One of the key ways to complete your New Year’s resolution is simply believing in yourself. You have the abilities and willpower to do just about anything you put your mind to, and recognizing that is important.
Try daily self-affirmations or simply fake it until you make it—the sooner you can say “I can do this” and mean it, the better!
7. Clearly & Completely Define Your Goals
Instead of jumping right into your resolutions without any previous thought, it’s important to prepare for the process.
When you set out clear and easy-to-understand goals, you stand a better chance of completing them. Define your New Year’s resolutions in measurable, relevant, and specific goals instead of a broad wish for change.
8. Create a Detailed Action Plan
One of the best ways to stick to your resolution is to have a plan.
Write down your goals and the best strategies to get you there. You should also acknowledge any difficulties you anticipate getting in the way of your success and how you could overcome them.
9. Don’t Go At It Alone
Use the buddy system to stick to your goals—when you partner up with someone, the challenge of lifestyle change is suddenly not a lonely experience, and you can motivate each other.
Partners can work not only to keep you accountable but also offer a much-needed support system on difficult days.
10. Focus On the Positive
Try not to dwell on the bad stuff. Perspective is very important for sticking to your resolutions, as focusing on the setbacks you experience can ultimately lead to losing faith in yourself and the process and giving up.
Instead, see the positives that you can achieve. Put a checkmark next to every step you accomplish towards your goals, and remember that every milestone is a bit closer to the end!
11. Harness Your Emotions
When you are feeling particularly motivated, use that energy to progress towards your New Year’s goals! You can get so much more accomplished by harnessing your emotions and doing things when you feel enthusiastic.
12. Have Patience
No matter how dedicated you are to completing your New Year’s resolution or how manageable the goal seems, it’s important to have patience with yourself and the situation.
Everyone progresses towards their goals at a different rate and with varying degrees of success, so be gentle with yourself and don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.
Even if you don’t see your progress continuing as smoothly as you would have liked, remain patient and stick with it. You might experience some rough spots along the way, but stay strong and know that you can achieve your New Year’s resolutions in the end!
13. Learn & Adapt
Even when encountering setbacks along the process of sticking to your New Year’s resolution, you can use these to your advantage. Instead of being discouraged, take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and adapt your efforts more effectively.
14. Make It a Habit
Making something second nature can be challenging, but it ultimately makes your life easier. If you can work your resolutions into your daily schedule so that you can make it habitual, it will serve you well in the long run and help you stick to it.
14. Quit “All Or Nothing” Mindsets
It’s common to fall into the trap of “all or nothing” thinking—if you miss a week during your resolution journey, don’t simply accept your fate and restart next week. Instead, recognize that you missed a step and continue with your efforts as usual!
15. Remove Some of the Effort
Sometimes, the thing that prevents you from completing a task is its effort to begin.
Instead of having to motivate yourself to get up and do something, bring it to you—keep the guitar in the living room for easy practice, or make sure you have the ingredients for tonight’s culinary adventure in advance.
16. Respect Your Personal Boundaries
While making positive changes in your life often does necessitate pushing yourself, ensure that you still respect your boundaries during the process. Recognize what you are and are not comfortable with, and work within those confines.
There’s no point in pushing yourself to the point where your mental or physical health suffers, regardless of how important your resolution might be!
17. Reward Yourself Cautiously
It can be easy to overcompensate when rewarding yourself for a job well done.
Celebrate your victories with something that enriches your resolution experience rather than with something counterproductive.
18. See How You Feel
Though consistency is key, it’s also important to evaluate your feelings and overall health when pursuing your goal. Making your New Year’s resolution stick relies on your continued ability to make progress, which can be difficult sometimes.
For example, if you are sick or dealing with many other things, perhaps you could give yourself some leniency in your progress. It’s all about the give and take!
19. Take Breaks to Be More Productive
It might seem somewhat counterintuitive, but working breaks into your New Year’s resolution routine will help you be more productive in the long run.
For example, if you are practicing an instrument or a language, make sure to take some five-minute breaks to let your brain recalibrate. If you are dieting, allow yourself one day a week for some foods that are not usually on the menu.
20. Track Your Progress
Being able to measure your progress towards the end goal is important for motivating yourself to keep going. Whatever your New Year’s resolution is, track your progress and evaluate any sticking points you might run into, adjusting your process accordingly.
21. Try, Try Again
Even if you mess up on sticking to your resolution, it’s not the end of the world. No one is perfect, particularly when it comes to major life changes. Instead of beating yourself up about it, embrace resiliency and don’t give up on your goals!
22. Visualize the Results of Your Goals
No matter your New Year’s resolution, it’s a good idea to visualize the end result. This helps to motivate and encourage you! Try creating a visual representation that you can keep referring to when the going gets tough, like a Pinterest board for inspiration.