How to Stick to Your Resolutions

accountability goal setting personal development professional development Dec 19, 2022

As we reach the end of the year, we’re all looking forward to setting goals and resolutions for the year to come. Setting resolutions is an important part of reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and what you want to work on in the future. The simple truth is though, not many of us actually stick to those resolutions. 

Maybe you have that giant stack of books next to your bed that you’ve been meaning to get started on, or you have that fancy new exercise equipment in the basement you haven’t used since February. Slipping into our old habits is really easy to do. So how can we actually stick to our resolutions going into the new year? 

Keep it simple - choose only one. 

Instead of deciding to make five new resolutions to try and stick to, pick the most important thing you want to accomplish in the new year and focus only on that. It takes a lot of effort to create new habits, and you won’t want to get distracted by too many changes. 

Be realistic - make sure it’s achievable.

If you haven’t been to the gym in years, saying you are going to run a marathon this year probably won’t be an achievable resolution. A more realistic resolution could be to join a gym and go 2-3 times a week. If your resolution isn’t really achievable, discouragement takes over and slows your progress.

Be specific - what exactly are you going to do? 

Eating healthier isn’t going to cut it as a good resolution. How specifically will you eat healthier? How often will you make sure you eat healthy - once a week? Every day? Without these specifics locked in, it can be easy to not make any progress at all. Tell yourself exactly what you want to change, when you will do it and how you will do it. 

Set it in stone - write it down.

Whether it’s on a post-it note that you stick on your mirror or fridge, in a journal, or on your computer, write down your resolution with all the specifics. Include the when, the why, the what and the how. Research finds that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you just write them down. A 42% head start on a resolution sounds good to us. 

Sharing is caring - tell people about it.

We don’t achieve greatness alone. There is always a team behind us. So don’t try to take on your resolutions alone either. Tell your family and friends what your goal is and have them hold you accountable. For example, tell your friend who loves to cook that you’re trying to eat healthy two times a week and have them send you some recipes they love to make. Or tell your friend who loves being active about your goal to get out to the gym and they may want to meet you there or go on a walk together. Share your goals with others and let them help you succeed. 

Just like any other goal we set, resolutions require focus, support and accountability to achieve. But no matter what your resolution looks like going into the new year, remember that no one is perfect. You may miss a few days and that’s ok - change is hard. Take a few days and get back into it when you’re ready, or better yet, understand why you fell off and adjust your resolution to make it less likely to happen again. So, as we head into the new year, find your resolution and get to planning how you’ll stick with it!


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