How to Make New Years Resolutions + Stick to Them

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!....Now what?

It is actually 2017. If you haven't yet, take a second to breath that in - we have made it this far. Congratulate yourselves, because it hasn't been a bump-free ride. We're now only 12 years from the robot takeover of Terminator 2, two years past the events of Back to Future 2, and just about ready to start the rebellion against the republic in the Star Wars movies (what year do those take place in anyway?). Throughout all the changes we've seen in our lifetime, one thing has remained the same: People still make (and fail to keep) New Years resolutions. 

Before you say "Well I never make New Years resolutions..." and stop reading, this is relevant to anyone who sets goals, which should be everyone, so read on. 

While over 40% of people in North America make resolutions, only approximately 8% of us actually achieve what we set out to do. Yet year in and year out, we say things to ourselves like "this is the year I'm going to get in shape", or "this is the year I'm going to eat healthy". I don't blame you if you had these thoughts as recently as two weeks ago, but if statistics are right, a large number of you (myself included) have already broken a resolution or two and find yourself falling into the same pattern as years past. How do we keep from repeating the cycle? How can we do a better job at keeping our resolutions? There are many reasons resolutions can fail, but that doesn't mean we should not make them (and it also doesn't make for a very uplifting blog post...), so we won't focus on the negative. Instead, here are a few helpful tips on how to refine your resolutions and make 2017 a year of accomplishment....

1. Set specific resolutions and plan
Setting specific resolutions is a good start. How will you know what steps to take if you don't know what you are stepping towards? A popular example is "I want to lose weight in the new year". Cool. Well how much weight? A better example would be "I want to lose 20 pounds in the new year". Good. Now you have a specific goal, a timeline, and can better create an effective action plan to achieve your resolution.

2. Set a few resolutions at a time

Although we may want to make more changes as the year goes on, it is a good idea to set just 2 or 3 resolutions at a time. That way it is easier to maintain a focused approach. After the first few have been achieved, or the new habits have been created, move on to the next few goals.

3. Write down your resolutions
It is easy to think about changes you would like to make heading into a new year, but it's just as easy to forget them too. Writing down goals and re-visiting them regularly is a highly effective way to help fulfill goals. A popular way of doing this is writing each resolution on a piece of paper or post it note and keeping them somewhere you have to see them regularly (bedroom door, refrigerator door, bathroom mirror etc).

4. Include another person
Often times having someone to push you and hold you accountable is a valuable tool in reaching personal goals. Sharing your resolutions and plans with a supportive friend, co-worker, or family member is a good way to add motivation.

5. Don't give up
A broken resolution isn't the end of the world. In fact, new years resolutions are great because you usually have an entire year to achieve them. In that respect, falling off the wagon in February does not mean you can no longer achieve your goal. Revisit your written goals and start fresh again the next day, and be sure to plan around whatever it is that derailed you the first time.

6. Reward yourself

Choose a healthy way to pat yourself on the back for accomplishing even the smallest part of your goals. This will keep your spirits high and will have you more inclined to continue to pursue your resolutions further.

7. Pick resolutions you really want

Making resolutions is a good way to improve your Self. With Self in mind, make sure the resolution is something that You really want. Be certain the goals and action plan align with your own personal values, and are not just things you think you should do, or things other people want you to do. 


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