The beginning of the new year can seem daunting. With self-improvement mantras spread across social feeds and a seemingly endless amounts of people talking about their goals, it can feel like you, too, need to reach for some pretty-far-up-there stars. But don't let the pressure of everyone else's aspirational plans scare you off. To help make your New Year’s resolutions stick, there's nothing like having a few tricks up your sleeve that can guide you along the way.
In the age where everyone's going to be putting their #lifegoals all over Instagram, it's good to know that if you plan to do the same, you'll have a few good ideas to keep you going well into the new year. (Oh, and by no means do you have to make your goals public ones.)
This isn't to say you have to set goals just for the sake of setting them, or because everyone else is. But the new year gives you the opportunity to take a look at the big picture of your life and find some ways to improve. If you're worried because you have a tendency to make resolutions every year and just haven't had great success with it, this is the year to try a few interesting strategies for keeping yourself on track to attaining them. For legitimately working on making yourself better this year and actually carrying out your aspirations, here are nine ways to make your new year's resolutions stick like glue.
1. Set Realistic Goals
This really has more to do with setting dates that allow you enough time to achieve your goals. Saving this much money or losing this much weight in the next three months just might not be possible, period. Remember, you have a whole year (really, your whole lifetime) to succeed, and putting too much pressure to achieve a goal within a certain impossible parameter can make feel like you failed even if it was never that feasible in the first place.
2. Be Specific About What Success Will Look Like
When you write down your goals, don't just say, "Save more money." How much money? And what is your action plan for getting there? If you create a real plan with the logistics to attain it, and understand what your goal will actually look like once achieved, you'll have a concrete beginning, middle, and end to your resolution that will keep you on track to attaining it.
3. Set Aside Time to Reach Them
If your resolution is to hit the gym more but your schedule simply doesn't allow for it, that goal will never be achieved. If you're serious about your resolution, you have to actually create space that doesn't exist in your current schedule to work toward it, whether it's learning a new language, reading more, or cooking more at home. Time to work toward goals doesn't just appear out of thing air— you have to make it.
4. Break Resolutions Down Into Smaller Steps
If your resolutions are lofty or the path to attaining them feel vague to you, think about each step you'd have to take to get there. You can't go from A to G; you have to start with B after you've finished A. Plus, breaking your goal into little pieces will feel more validating as you achieve each step along the way.
5. Start Your Goals On A Monday
According to research conducted by Johns Hopkins, periodic prompts on the first day of the week foster longterm change. So, by starting your goal at the beginning of the week, you are able to reboot yourself every seven days. This ultimately guides you to making your resolution a legitimate lifestyle change rather than something you give up on after a few months.
6. Turn Setbacks Into A Positive
The worst part about pursuing resolutions are the negative setbacks that come along with them. However, by simply shifting your attitude toward them, you can spin these into a positive aspect of working toward your goal rather than assuming that they're the end-all, be-all.
7. Keep Yourself Inspired
One thing that makes it easy to give up partway through a goal is forgetting about why you even set in the first place. Read up on the success stories of others that have achieved the same resolution as you have, or head to Pinterest for some motivational quotes to keep you on track. There's nothing like a little dose of inspiration to remind you that the goal is worth it.
8. Don't Set Too Many Goals At Once
Another surefire way to feel like you failed is by creating a ton of resolutions and simply not having the bandwidth to work toward all of them. Stagger them throughout the year, and start working on the next one once you've achieved the first,. By the end of the year you'll be able to look back on multiple successes.
9. Reward Yourself Along the Way
Resolutions are not about punishing yourself until you become a better person — they are about encouraging yourself to live your best life. So remember to reward the little wins. Each time you do, you'll propel yourself each time toward ultimately concluding your goal. And remember that while working toward goals is an awesome thing, the steps you're taking to get there are celebration-worthy in and of themselves.