5 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

An older man stretches before and early winter morning workout. He's working toward maintaining his resolution for a healthier new year.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the “doing it” part is always harder than the “wanting to do it” part. Most people who make New Year’s resolutions tend to abandon their goals with the first couple of months. To buck the trend and stick to your resolutions in 2020, here are some tips that can help.

Set Clear Goals

If you want your New Year’s resolutions to succeed, you need to set goals. Without them you’ll lack focus and direction. To take control of your resolutions, carefully consider what you want to achieve by setting a goal that motivates you, then make sure your goal is clear and well defined. Having a vague goal in mind, like “I want to lose weight,” doesn’t give you direction. Instead come up with an achievable goal such as, “I will commit to working out at the gym twice a week.”

Break Your Goal into Small Pieces

Breaking your goals down into smaller, manageable actions will help you achieve them.  For example, if you haven’t saved a lot of money in the past and now you suddenly want to save thousands of dollars, you may be setting yourself up for failure. A more achievable goal is to start small by trying to save a modest amount in January ($100), then build up the number of dollars you put away each month.

Create a Habit

Accomplishing small goals to reach the big ones will also help you to form habits. Some habits are easy to build while others require more effort. It’s important to do everything you can to ensure you work toward your resolution on a consistent basis. This may mean changing your schedule or setting reminders to stay on track. Try committing to a specific action by setting aside time every week or month to do it. An example would be to track your financial progress. Set aside time each month to see how much progress you’ve made on your money goals. How much have you saved to buy a new car? How much debt have you paid off? How much money have you set aside for your summer trip next year? Once you get used to performing that action and see the results, it can give you a boost in motivation.

Partner Up

Having someone by your side who wants to achieve the same goal is a great idea. It will make you more accountable because there will be someone to answer to if you don’t stay on track. But more importantly, having a partner who is engaged and committed to achieving the resolutions will encourage and motivate you both to succeed. Just be sure to partner with someone who is truly dedicated and make a plan for actively achieving your shared goals. Someone less motivated could put a damper on your resolutions pretty quickly. If you don’t want to have to rely on a partner, consider telling a few trusted friends or family members about your goal and ask for their support. Even if they aren’t trying to achieve the goal you are, they can help you stay focused on yours and give you a nudge if needed.

Use an App

Apps can be a useful tool for helping you stick to your resolutions. Look around and see what is out there. Many apps can be specific to your resolutions – whether it be to eat healthier or get more organized.

Turning over a new leaf for the new year is a great thing to aspire to. The unfortunate truth is that, for many, staying true to resolutions is often difficult. Making some of these changes may help fulfill your goals for the New Year.

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