Tips for making New Year's resolutions that stick

by Lia Steakley Dicker

We are full of good intentions when we write down our resolutions for the new year. But for the majority of us the thrill of accomplishing our New Year's resolutions remains elusive. We might promise to run that race, but never cross the finish line. We might aim to overcome frustration, temptation, and procrastination, but sticking to our resolutions can be hard. So what's the trick to making resolutions that stick?

When selecting resolutions for the new year, use the following tips to convert your enthusiasm for change into year-long commitment toward personal growth. Doing so will help you avoid future disappointment and launch yourself on journey of self-renewal.

Photo taken by kkalyan

Be deliberate

Resist the urge to impulsively make pledges for the upcoming year based on what's bothering you at a specific moment. Spend a week, or longer, evaluating your priorities for the new year and think about how your resolution fits with these objectives. This is a great conversation to have with a friend, "Could you see me doing this goal, this year?"

Leave the past behind

Refrain from adopting old resolutions to prevent past regrets from following you into the future. Instead, redefine failed goals. If "lose weight" didn't work last year, consider the new approaches of "eat healthier" or "exercise five days a week"

Stay positive

Swearing off bad habits such as "I will never bite my nails again" only emphasizes the forbidden behavior. For better results, cast resolutions in a flattering light and vow to "Take better care of my hands and nails"

Shorten the deadline

Recent research found 80 percent of people don't keep their resolution past Valentine's Day. Maintain yours until July 1 and you will have accomplished more than most. We're betting the buzz you get from successfully making reaching the six-month mark will carry you the rest of the year.

Define the obstacles

Acknowledging and preparing for the challenges upfront allows you to better navigate bumps in the road ahead.

Go public with your plans

Telling others about your goals helps you in a couple of ways. Writing the goals down and sharing them with others can increase your sense of responsibility to meet your objectives. It also gives others insight into what you are trying to accomplish and opens new doors for support.

Lia Steakley Dicker is a Seattle based journalist and editor of the 43 Things Book: Dream It. List It. Do It. How to live a Bigger & Bolder Life


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