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How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

New year, new you, right? Truth be told, many people make new years resolution they just can’t stick to. So how can you go about setting goals you’ll actually achieve? The short answer is that you choose realistic resolutions that fit within your current lifestyle or push for smaller change. Whatever it is you pick, you have to then commit to making it a habit. Sounds easy, but how can you routinely motivate yourself to do something outside of your normal behaviors? Here are a couple of easy steps to follow:

1. Keep a journal of your resolutions

Keeping written documentation about your goals will help you track your progress and see the progress you’ve made as well as evaluate yourself. Try to write down your resolutions from the years before to really get a grasp of your growth, and maybe see what goals you have yet still to accomplish. Analyzing your previous resolutions will help you get an idea of whether the resolutions you set for this year are attainable and realistic, or if you need to rework some of them.

2. Pick a partner for your resolutions

Research shows that new years resolutions tend to be more achievable and realistic if they are made with a friend! Friends know us better than we know ourselves sometimes, and they are more likely to factor your true nature into the goals you set. If you are unsure if your resolution is unrealistic, run it by your friends first to get their thoughts! Friends tend to remind us of the things we forget about, like our monthly expenditures and personal habits.

3. Order your resolutions from most to least important

Make your list of goals for 2021 and be sure to put the two you are most excited about at the top! Those two goals should be your main focus for the new year. If, come December, you’ve accomplished both of those resolutions, choose four next year! The idea is to limit your resolutions to give you more time and energy to focus on the ones that matter most. If your resolutions are bigger, like running a marathon before year’s end, break them into smaller, trackable goals!

4. Ask your friends what their resolutions were last year

Then ask yourself if you would have accomplished theirs had those been yours. This way you'll have a mini internal simulation of how good you are, generally, in accomplishing the type of things other people try to do in a year. You will know your friends' circumstances, the type of journeys this year brought on you/them, and how things went for you/them. This made-up simulation will force your brain to visualize the challenges, potential obstacles, and how you would overcome them.

It may come as no surprise that a lot of people forget or change their resolutions as the year progresses. The hard truth is that it takes diligence to achieve your goals, and you may have to remind yourself every day of what you are working towards. Even the simplest things like putting a sticky note on your fridge can help keep you focused! But don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Beating yourself up when you are progressing as planned is a recipe for disaster, and it can actually increase your chances of failure. Focus on accomplishment in steps, and that will lead you to success.


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