How to make (and keep) your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions – We all make them…now let’s keep them!

There’s nothing like a fresh, new year. It’s a clean slate to start something over, try something new or just get around to something you always promised yourself you would do.  Setting goals is good for your mind, body, and soul. Of course, New Year’s resolutions run the gamut from the ever popular “get into shape” to the more aspirational “climb the highest mountain”, and everything in between. Whatever you decide you want to do or change starting in January, here are a few tips and tricks to help you stick to, and achieve, your goals.

It's not you…it’s the goal

If you find that, like most people, come February you’re waving to your New Year’s resolutions in the rear-view mirror, that might be because you’re not setting the right goals. To maximize your chances of keeping your resolutions (New Year’s or otherwise), experts suggest:

  • Keep goals specific and bite-sized (you can always set more goals later)
    • For example, don’t resolve to lose weight. Instead, resolve to lose 5 pounds by February 15.
    • Instead of resolving to clear your home of clutter, resolve to clear one room each week.
  • Keep your resolutions positive to set the right frame-of-mind for achieving your goals
    • Rather than beginning your resolution with “I will not” or “I will stop”, try setting goals that are focused on what you can do, like “I will start…”
  • Keep it personal
    • Make sure that your resolutions reflect what YOU want and not what you think your family, friends or society want from you

Be kind…take your time

New Year’s resolutions are a time when we can be most critical of ourselves, so it helps to look at the changes that you want to make in a positive light. Instead of thinking that there are things about yourself that are bad and need changing, frame it as an opportunity for selfcare and focus on improving your physical and mental wellbeing. And remember, real and lasting change takes not only time, but often several attempts.

So, keep at it, celebrate the little wins along the way and stay confident that you WILL get there.