How to Make Your Resolutions Stick
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
The new year is full of beginnings, optimism, and newfound motivation. It’s the perfect time to start thinking about your goals and how you’re going to achieve them. New year’s resolutions are motivating and fun to create, but it’s not as easy to stick with them for the entire year. New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, but if you’re going to make goals this year, here’s how you can create your resolutions list to stay on top of your goals all year.
Break Your Goals into Smaller Ones
The key to sticking with your new year’s resolutions list is to make your goals attainable and realistic. Don’t try to drastically change everything on January 1st, only to feel overwhelmed and give up a month later. Instead, break your goals into smaller mini-goals that will help you reach the final goal in the end. Focus on one goal each month to make it easier. For example, for the month of January, focus on improving your sleep schedule. In February, make it your goal to eat more vegetables or cut out added sugars. This narrowed-down focus will make it less intimidating to stick with your goals.
Make Your Goals Specific
Instead of writing down that you want to eat healthier, earn more money, or travel more, sit down and create a list of how you will do that. These types of goals are too generic, giving little direction. This leaves you feeling confused and overwhelmed as to where to start, and it makes it challenging to track your progress, which can lead to a loss of motivation. You want to be as specific as possible! For example, if you want to eat healthier, how will you do that? Will you stop buying sweets? Will you incorporate at least one vegetable into all your meals? Will you stop buying fast food? These clear, specific goals are much easier to follow because you know exactly what to do (or not to do) to reach your desired end goal.
Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes
New Year’s resolutions often consist of challenging and significant goals. You have the entire year to achieve them, so you want to dream big! However, these goals take time, and they’re not going to happen overnight. If you lose motivation or miss a few days, don’t give up on your goal entirely. Remember that a few days off are nothing compared to giving up altogether. Instead, allow yourself to make mistakes, and get back on track when you feel ready.
Give Your Goals a Timeframe
Another problem with New Year’s resolutions is not giving your goals a timeframe. Look at your list and plan how much time you want to give yourself to reach your goals. Remember to be realistic, and you can always revisit your timeline to make changes if you need to. Setting this timeline helps with motivation and gives your goals more direction. This is another reason why dedicating a month to each mini goal is effective. By the end of the month, you can reflect on your progress and see how much you achieved. Record your progress somewhere so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve accomplished until we reflect.
Again, New Year’s resolutions are not for everyone, but if this is something you desire, use this list to help you stay on track with realistic goals! Not ready to commit to specific resolutions? My best advice is to make conscious decisions with your eating habits and crowd out junk food with healthier alternatives. That’s a change that will help anyone feel better as we move through 2022!