Hello, 2023! It’s the start of another new year. And you know what that means? It’s the time of New Year’s resolutions!
New Year’s resolutions are a common practice. However, actually sticking to those resolutions is far less common. Often before the ink has even dried on our very well-intended resolutions we’re already slipping into old habits.
And here’s a fun fact! Research has shown that people quit their resolutions for the year by the second Friday of January. The second Friday?! There’s even a name for it! Quitter’s Day!
And this year, it falls on January 13th! That means we’re fast approaching the day most resolutions fade away!
Crazy, right?! How are we supposed to make all these positive changes with the odds so stacked against us?
Easy! We can help! We have some tried-and-tested strategies you can apply to make sure that those New Year’s Resolutions actually stick in 2023.
So what are you waiting for? Get started on making your resolutions a reality today!
Tips to Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions
1. Set Clear New Year’s Resolutions
The fundamental way to stick to your New Year’s resolutions is to set clear goals. Well, one tried and tested method is to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym and a tool that’s used by countless people across the globe to accurately define and achieve their goals.
For a resolution or goal to be SMART, it must be SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC, and TIMELY.
What does that mean exactly? Well, if you want to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions, then you need to…
Set set New Year’s resolutions that are specific:
Whatever your resolutions, key to sticking to them is to make them specific. For example, if your goal is to “improve fitness,” it’s not specific enough. You should be targeting something like “run 5 miles in under 45 minutes by June”. That way, you have a clear goal you want to achieve. And it’s then far easier to break down that goal into steps.
The above goal is a SMART goal because it ticks the next box in the acronym…M, measurable. Because in order to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions, you also need to…
Set New Year’s resolutions that are measurable:
With our “run 5 miles in under 45 minutes by June” example, we have a SMART goal because it’s measurable. We have a clear measure to let us know whether or not we’ve achieved the goal.
So, when it comes to setting your New Year’s resolutions if you want them to stick, make sure you have something to measure the achievement of that goal.
Keeping track of your success with a measurable system is an ideal way to assess if you’re still on the right path toward achieving your resolution. It’s also a great method for monitoring and evaluating your progress.
Moving on to A, if you want to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, you also need to…
Set New Year’s resolutions that are attainable:
On paper, this makes sense, right? Your goals need to be attainable. Otherwise, you obviously won’t ‘attain’ them. But in practice, you won’t believe how many New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside because they lack this key element.
If you’ve never really run before, you can’t expect to run 5 miles (and kinda enjoy it) in under 45 minutes the first time you set out for a run. That’s just setting yourself up for failure, and worse, disappointment.
And in order to ward off that disappointment, and to make sure you achieve your New Year’s resolutions this year, you also need to…
Set New Year’s resolutions that are realistic:
New Year’s resolutions that are actually achieved are realistic resolutions. And honestly, being realistic doesn’t mean you’re aiming too low. Setting realistic goals means you’re setting yourself up for success.
Of course, always dream big. But when it comes to New Year’s resolutions that you really want to see achieved, just make sure they are realistic.
And lastly, you need to…
Set New Year’s resolutions that are timely:
Last but not least, to craft an ambitious SMART goal you have to factor in a timeline. Setting a specific date for when your ultimate objective should be accomplished is essential. With a timeline in place, you can then plan the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
Make sure that your New Year’s resolutions follow the SMART acronym, and you’ll sail past Quitter’s Day, and beyond, with your resolutions still firmly intact!
2. Track Your Progress
The next super effective way to help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions is to make a habit of tracking your progress. Tracking your progress gives you a clear visual of how far you’ve come.
At the beginning of each month, set aside some time to review what you have achieved in terms of your resolutions and goals so far. This kind of regular check-in can help to keep you motivated and on track with whatever resolutions or goals you have set for yourself. And seeing that improvement, however small, gives great motivation to keep on going!
3. Find A Community
Resolutions and goals are most likely to stick when there is a support system in place. Having someone or a group of people to encourage you, cheer you on, and, importantly, to keep you accountable, can be the biggest factor that helps your resolutions become reality.
Consider joining a community of like-minded individuals who are working towards similar goals as yours. Search your local papers, or your local Facebook pages to see if you can find an already-existing group that could help you meet your goals.
For example, if you want to make sure you run a certain amount of times a week to achieve your end goal, look for running clubs in your area. By joining that group, and making that commitment to other people, you’re far more likely to consistently show up and do the hard work. Rather than telling ourselves, “I’ll go tomorrow.” over and over again.
Having a community of people to support you on your journey is a massive aid when it comes to sticking to those New Year’s resolutions with more success. This is such an overlooked but fairly simple way to make sure you achieve all you set out to achieve throughout the next 365 days.
4. Celebrate Your Successes
Want to stick to your New Year’s resolutions for the long haul? Then you need to recognize and reward yourself when you hit the milestones on your way to achieving your end goal. Celebrate your successes and each step of progress that you make no matter how small it is. Appreciate the effort and commitment that you are putting into making this happen and that will spur you on to keep pushing towards your goal.
So make sure you reward yourself for the hard work and dedication that you have put in to achieve your goals. As the saying goes, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, so let’s make a habit of recognizing and appreciating those steps!
5. Limit Screen Time
If you want to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, it’s important that you limit your screen time. Allowing yourself too much of the blue light from screens on a regular basis is bad for the body and soul. It can cause insomnia, depression and anxiety, as well as physical issues such as headaches and fatigue. And no one wants any more of that!
But more importantly, limiting screen time gives us something super valuable in return…more time! And we definitely do want more of that! Don’t think you spend that much time scrolling? Go look at your screen time report in your phone’s settings. Prepare to be shocked. I’ll wait.
Just imagine all you could do with all that time! Well, stop imagining and do something about it! Put limits on your social media apps, give yourself time limits, or only use social media during a certain time of the day. Whatever works for you, do it! And then use all that extra time to chase your dreams, achieve your goals, or simply just for a little unwinding.
BONUS: Perhaps “limit your screen time” is your actual New Year’s resolution? Then all the more reason to put these tips into place!
6. Be Kind To Yourself
Finally, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. It’s easy to beat ourselves up if we fall short of our goals or feel like we haven’t achieved enough. But it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and stumbles now and then on their way to achieving their resolutions. But one stumble does not mean you’ve lost!
Be kind to yourself by forgiving any mistakes or slips you make in your journey. Remember that progress is made up of small steps, and it’s part of the process. Don’t forget to give yourself credit for all the hard work you’ve put in and be proud of even the smallest successes.
Be kind to yourself! Take time out for yourself. Unwind. Recharge. And you’ll still be right on track to achieving your New Year’s resolutions.
We hope our tips have given you a better approach to making sure you stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year. So, get out there and set those (SMART!) goals! And remember that with a bit of perseverance, dedication, support, and kindness toward yourself, the sky is the limit.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? How are you planning on sticking with them?
Related read: How Can I Overcome Procrastination? 7 Strategies for Success