9 Ways to Stick to your New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s is a time to reflect on the past year and plan your goals for the upcoming year. Setting goals or resolutions can be very motivating, however on average, only 40% of individuals who make resolutions keep them. Breaking resolutions can be very discouraging and add anxiety or a sense of failure. Follwing these tips can help make your resolutions a reality!

1. Write it down

The first step to making goals is the write them down. Putting them in writing takes them from an idea to the first step of action. Place them somewhere you can see, be that a day planner you use frequently, a note in your phone or on a post-it in your mirror.

2. Keep your goals realistic and achievable

Making goals of losing 100 pounds or learning to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix may not be the most realistic and when not achieved can create a sense of failure. Make smaller goals, like losing 10 pounds, or practicing guitar once per week instead. You can always up the ante once you have achieved your goal.

3. Break it down

In addition to making realistic goals, break them down into smaller goals you can aim for throughout the year. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, make smaller monthly goals of adding more vegetables to your diet, then the next month decreasing your sugar intake and such. Focus on smaller portions of a bigger goal to make it seem less daunting.

4. Be specific

Making your goals more specific gives them more structure and helps you to note your progress. If your goal is to read more books this year, select a realistic number of books and then break that number down even further. For example if your goal is to read 25 new books this year, break that down to 1 book every 2 weeks.

5. Make it easy!

Depending on what your goal is, make it as accessible and as easy as you can. If your goal is to eat healthier, empty your house of junk food and replenish your fridge with fruits and veg and lots of other easily made healthy snacks. FInd a exercise program you can do at home or on the go and always keep your running shoes and gym clothes handy if fitness is your goal.

6. Know there will be set backs – but they are not failures

Set backs in achieving your goal are not only likely, but expected to happen. Don’t take a set back as a failure. They are part of being human. A huge point to make here is to avoid the “What the hell” attitude. An example of this would be if you ate an unhealthy meal in the morning, you think “what the hell, my diet is already ruined today” and continue to eat poorly for the rest of the day. This would be equivalent to dropping your phone on the floor and saying “what the hell, I have already dropped it” and then continuing to stomp on it. You wouldn’t do that, so why continue to stomp on your body?

7. Track your progress

There are many ways to track your progress, whether it is writing it down, using an app or weighing yourself. Tracking your progress will help you stay on track and provide positive feedback, keeping you more likely to succeed! There are sereral apps out there to help with this such as MyFitnessPal or Lift. Find one that works for you if thats your style.

8. Hold your self accountable

Make a bet, use social media or enlist a friend. This are all ways to make yourself more accountable. Even more, put your money on the line with a site like stickK developped by Yale University economists. They will happily create a commitment contract with you at your chosen monetary stake. If you do not achieve your goal, they will donate that cash to a charity of your choice.

9. Reward yourself

When you do achieve your goal, reward yourself! Keep it in line with your goal. New fitness clothes, a fancy meal, a new book or new sheet music.