When the start of a new year approaches, it’s normal to think about ways to better yourself and make a fresh start in the coming months. Unfortunately, not all of these resolutions stick. One study showed that a mere eight percent of people achieved the goals they set for the new year.1
If you find yourself making the same resolutions year after year, these goals are bound to lose steam. However, a few strategic moves can help you stay on track with your New Year’s goals. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for keeping your New Year’s resolutions fresh.
Set Short-Term Goals
It may be tempting to think big and set ambitious goals for yourself, but you don’t want your high aspirations to backfire on you. According to the National Institutes of Health, you’ll have better luck maintaining your resolutions if you break your goals down into small, clearly defined chunks.2
For example, if you want to spend less money this year, don’t set a lofty year-end savings goal; instead, resolve to save a certain amount per week. Similarly, it’s easier to aim for losing a few pounds per month rather than 25 pounds by the end of the year. Acknowledge your success each time you meet one of these short-term goals, because it’s a great way to keep your motivation high.
Find a Resolution Partner
Everything is more fun when you do it with a friend—even sticking to New Year’s resolutions. You and your friend can exchange tips, share progress reports and hold each other accountable. You’re more likely to go for that daily walk if someone is counting on you to join them, and you’ll have an easier time choosing a healthy lunch if a friend at work is doing it too.
If you enjoy a little friendly competition, you and your resolution partner can even turn your resolutions into a challenge. See who can log the most steps each week or save the most money on their grocery bill.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
You’re more likely to stay on track and resist giving up if you remind yourself how this resolution is going to improve your life. If weight loss is your goal, think of the various health benefits: you’ll lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and much more. If you have a financial goal in mind, think of how good it will feel to eliminate some debt or build up an emergency fund. Keeping the benefits of your resolution in mind will help you stay focused and motivated as the weeks and months go by.
The start of a new year is a great time to put the past behind you and make some lasting changes in your life. If you’re in recovery from addiction, you already know that change and progress don’t happen overnight—it takes time and perseverance. Keeping your New Year’s resolutions fresh can be a challenge, but these tips can boost your odds of long-term success.