Making New Years Resolutions Last

Starting a new year often means starting new habits and activities… or at least trying to. While the turning the calendar to January sounds like a good idea, it often feels a little daunting as well. It’s almost as if we are at the beginning of a self-fulfilling prophecy full of good intentions, but ending in disappointment a few weeks into the year. Good news: Resolutions don’t have to end in disaster!

Here are some tips to help those resolutions stick around for good:

1. Be sure to create attainable goals. While saving money or working out sound like great ideas, they need to be approached with caution.
Maybe instead of trying to get to the gym every day of the week, choose something a little smaller – like 2 or 3 days… or even a 10 minute something in your home!

If you want to save money, have a small part directly taken out of your check. Or, create a budget.
If you want to travel, start saving money and planning for your trip. Or, go somewhere closer to home that you’ve never been to.

Get creative! Any activity is better than none.  Remember, small victories can add up to large ones. Start slow and build up to something great!
2. Cut yourself some slack! Maybe you do really well for a few months and something happens to throw you off. That’s ok! Pick back up and start again. While January is a significant time to make changes, try to remember you have the ability to change your life at ANY time in the year. I’ve had to practice this one personally. Last year, I wanted to join a gym and actually use my membership. I hit a speed bump in April, which threw me off my game for a couple months. However, by June, I was back in the gym fairly consistently. As of today, I’m still there!  
Remember to give yourself time to change. Resolutions don’t happen over night. Nor do they need to be finished by December 31. We’re looking for lifestyle changes here!

3. Find some accountability. It’s easy to stop making positive changes when we have no one to report to. Talk to people about what you want to do. Have a friend or family member check in on your progress. Find someone with the same goals and work together. Whatever it takes! When you get an accountability partner, you have someone to not only keep you moving forward, but someone to relate to when resolutions get hard to stick to. They can act as a support system as well as a cheerleader when you do reach your goals!

4. Have fun!! Create solutions that are fun to you so you want to fulfill them. If you love reading, but haven’t had time – Make time. If there are relationships that you want to foster – schedule more dinners and activities with those you care about. Find new things to do, do things you used to do, explore your city, go to a park. Anything can be a resolution if you want it to be.

You have the power to change your life. Resolutions don’t have to be boring or temporary. Let’s make 2016 different!


Written by: Sarah Henry, M.A.