How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution

How To Keep A New Year's ResolutionMany people enjoy setting goals for themselves every January 1st, so that they can start the New Year even better than the last.  Resolutions usually include a behavioral change, education improvement, or new hobbies.  Here are some steps on creating your own resolution, and more importantly, how to keep a New Year’s resolution.

  1. Keep to realistic goals.  “Get drafted to the NBA”, not a common accomplishment, and is probably more of a dream than a resolution for most.  “Win the lottery” doesn’t have a great success rate either.
  2. Be specific.  If you want to lose weight, try saying that you want to exercise 3 more times a week and watch calories.  This way you have a plan set to succeed in your goal.
  3. Make sure it’s important to you, and not pressured by your friends or family.  If the habit you’re trying to start/stop is not personally meaningful, than its likely you won’t make it through the first two weeks.

The most popular New Year’s resolutions seem to be:

  • New Years Resolution ListGo back to school
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Save money
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Be more organized
  • Exercise more
  • Recycle

When it comes to sticking with a goal for a whole year, picking the resolution is the easiest part.  Executing the plan requires commitment, and making the new habit as easy as possible to follow can be the difference between success and failure.

  • Replace with healthy alternatives.  For example if you want to stop eating right before bed, try enjoying a hot cup of tea instead.
  • Remove all temptations.  If you want to stop eating out so much, pack a daily lunch and keep your pantry stocked with satisfying foods.
  • Set small step goals.  For example, exercise twice a week the first two weeks and then 3 times a week there after.

In the end, a behavioral change is something to be proud of, no matter how big or small.  They say it takes 30 days for something to become a natural habit, so keep it up and it will get easier every day.  Also, aim for a new kind of success every year.

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