Do you keep your New Year’s resolutions every year? If you’re like many people, you start the month of January with the best of intentions, but abandon all your resolutions by the time February 1 rolls around. But don’t give up making resolutions just yet. If you approach your goal-setting the right way, you can beat the odds and actually keep your resolutions this year. Keep these five tips in mind as you work on making a fresh start.
Choose resolutions you care about
When you start making resolutions for a new year, it’s tempting to go big. But making permanent changes in your life is hard, and it’s even harder to stay motivated to achieve a goal you don’t feel strongly about. As great as it might sound, you probably won’t clean up your diet, learn to code, and start reading a book a week if those goals aren’t meaningful to you. Write out a list of possible resolutions and put your energy towards one or two that resonate with you most strongly.
Scale back your goals
Sure, you feel motivated now, but after the novelty of a new year wears off, it might be a different story. Start with goals small enough that you’ll still be able to make progress on them when you’re tired, overworked, or fighting off a cold. Downsizing your goals helps you keep moving forward without burning yourself out. In the long run, slow and steady progress is much more sustainable than a dramatic overnight change.
Studies have found that people are much more likely to get things done when they decide ahead of time on a time and a place to do the work. Set yourself up for success by getting specific about your new year’s resolutions. Don’t just make a list of what you want to do – make a plan for where, when, and how you’ll get each task done.
Don’t do it alone
Social support – or social pressure – can keep you motivated when you feel like quitting. Instead of keeping your resolutions to yourself, let your family and friends know what you’re trying to accomplish. If you know that people will ask you how your resolutions are coming along, you’ll be less likely to quit. An even better option is to find a like-minded friend and team up to work on your resolutions together.
Track your progress
There’s nothing more motivating than looking at how far you’ve come since you started working on something. Keeping track of your progress can help you stick to your resolutions and keep moving forward. You can use a spreadsheet, an app on your phone, or an old-fashioned notebook to keep a log of your progress.
Keeping your new year’s resolutions doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Even if you’ve been unsuccessful in the past, this year is a fresh start, so make the most of it!