It’s December 31st, which means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions! By now, you’ve probably got a good idea of what you’d like to accomplish in the new year. We want to see you succeed so we found searched the internet for the best tips on how to stick to your resolutions (adapted from Gretchen Rubin).
1. Most important: Be specific. People often make abstract resolutions: “Be more optimistic,” “Find more joy in life,” “Aim high.”What does this mean,exactly? What will you do differently? Look for a specific, measurable action. “Distract myself with fun music when I’m feeling gloomy,” “Watch at least one movie each week,” “Buy a plant for my desk” are resolutions that will carry you toward those abstract goals.
2. Write it down.
3. Review your resolution constantly. If your resolution is buzzing through your head, it’s easier to stick to it. Set a recurring calendar reminder and review your resolutions on the first of every month.
4. Hold yourself accountable. Accountability is the secret to sticking to resolutions. That’s why groups like AA and Weight Watchers are effective. There are many ways to hold yourself accountable; for example, you might hire a trainer or exchange daily updates with a friend. Accountability is one reason that #1 is so important. If your resolution is too vague, it’s hard to measure whether you’re keeping it. A resolution to “Eat healthier” is harder to track than “Eat salad for lunch three times a week.”
If you have an especially tough time keeping resolutions, try these strategies:
5. Consider making pleasant resolutions. We can make our lives happier in many ways. If you’ve been trying to get yourself to do something challenging, with no success, try resolving to “Go to more movies,” “Read more,” or whatever resolutions you’d find fun to keep. Seeing more movies might make it easier to keep going to the gym. It’s a Secret of Adulthood: If you want to ask a lot from yourself, it helps to give a lot to yourself.
6. Consider giving up a resolution. If you keep making and breaking a resolution, consider whether you should relinquish it entirely. Put your energy toward changes that are both realistic and helpful. Don’t let an unfulfilled resolution to lose twenty pounds or to overhaul your overgrown yard block you from making other, smaller resolutions that might give you a big happiness boost.
7. Keep your resolution every day. Weirdly, it’s often easier to do something every day (exercise, post to a blog, deal with the mail, do laundry) than every few days.
Good luck and happy new year!