How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Will Keep

tight close-up on hands writing goals on paper
By Guest Author
Posted by: Unison

Resolutions are good, productive ways to set your goals and intentions for the new year. Deciding to make positive changes is always a good idea—one you should see through to the end. Yet, at the beginning of each new year, many of us find ourselves wondering how to keep the resolutions we’ve set for ourselves. 

Often, what we don’t realize is that the problem isn’t that we aren’t capable of sticking to our resolutions—it’s that we need to do a better job making resolutions that are not only intentional but actionable and achievable. Otherwise, it’s almost like setting yourself up to fail. So with that in mind, here are a few tips for making better resolutions you can actually stick to.

Get Specific with your Resolutions:

Creating a goal that’s too big sets you up for failure. The first key to success is zeroing in on one resolution, not three. Then plan out the level of commitment it will require to achieve, and consider if you’ll be able to match it. Are you really going to be able to swear off dessert completely? Unlikely. Limiting your sweets intake to a few times a month would be much more achievable.  Without some definable parameters, your best intentions can get lost along the way. The more detailed you can be, the easier it is to stay focused on your end goal. Setting small, specific goals also keeps you encouraged along the way—each time you meet one, you have reason to celebrate your progress.

Write Down Your Goals:

One way to stay committed to your goals is by writing them down, either in your journal or on a piece of paper that you can pin to your wall. Make sure your notes are posted somewhere that is visible enough to remind you every day. Write down all your goals, the small steps you will take to achieve them, and the rewards you will receive along the way. Journaling can also help you reflect on your progress. 

Track Your Progress:

Tracking progress is a powerful tool. And not just for keeping us motivated, productive, and on schedule. When you track your progress, you naturally become more purposeful about the work you do. Tracking your progress is the easiest way to ward off feeling overwhelmed by large goals. With a system for measuring progress in place, you’ll always know you’re moving in the right direction. No matter how big or complex the resolution is.

Celebrate Successes:

Take time to feel good about yourself and the progress that you make towards your goals. Celebrate the little accomplishments as the weeks or months pass rather than waiting until the end of the year. If you’ve doubted yourself along the way, allowing for self-affirmation of your abilities and accomplishments can be rewarding too.Just be sure that whatever way you choose to celebrate or reward yourself doesn’t set you back, but motivates you to keep working hard at your goal.

Deal with Setbacks:

If you aren’t making much progress, be forgiving of yourself. Sometimes life throws curveballs at us and things don’t go as we intended. You might have had to help an ill family member and didn’t get to focus on your goal for several days. Accept those things and allow yourself to move on. You can always pick up again tomorrow.