Tips for Sticking With New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are extremely popular; around 41% of Americans make them each year. But while resolutions are easy to utter, especially when buoyed by a glass or two of celebratory champagne, they’re not easy to stick with. In fact, the average resolution never comes to fruition. Not all is lost, however. There are several tips and tricks that will strengthen your resolve. Consider doing the following:

Making a Plan

Often, New Year’s Resolutions are promises people make spontaneously, resolving to reinvent themselves 15 seconds before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. But resolving to do anything without any kind of blueprint sets you up for failure. If your resolution involves improved mental health, for instance, make a plan to first find a therapist. 

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

One way to increase your odds of sticking to any type of resolution is to invest in it financially. This assures your buy-in isn’t just metaphorical. If your New Year’s Resolution is to get in shape, for example, purchase workout equipment or sign up for a gym. If you opt to do the latter, make sure your enrollment isn’t limited to just January.

Setting a Resolution that’s Doable

Among the most common mistakes when making New Year’s Resolutions is resolving to do something too ambitious. Overreaching tends to lead to abandoning your goal altogether. Rather than aiming too high, think lower (shoot for the stratosphere, not the stars). For example, if you want to save for a beach vacation, don’t resolve to stow away $1000 a month and leave yourself financially strapped…attempt to save $300, $400, or $500 each month, instead. 

Allowing Do-Overs

Only about 9% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions achieve them; nearly half abandon them by the end of January. You might find yourself waffling in your resolve, but be gentle. If you’ve broken your resolution come February, there’s no reason you can’t pick it up in March. Resolutions don’t have to be a full-steam-ahead, all-or-nothing commitment. Your resolution will always take you back if you want it to. 

Thinking Outside the Box

The most popular New Year’s Resolutions are the ones you’d expect, such as getting healthy, getting in shape, and quitting smoking. While these resolutions certainly can improve your quality of life, you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional promises. You can also resolve to do things like take a cruise to the Caribbean, read one new novel a month, start journaling, join a rec soccer league, or learn how to golf.  

Most people fail at New Year’s resolutions for one big reason: change is hard. Hard, however, doesn’t need to mean impossible. These tips can help you stick to your resolutions and impress yourself along the way. 

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