How To Keep New Year’s Resolutions

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Image from freedigitalphotos.net/Kittikun Atsawintarangkul

Making New Year’s resolution is a great practice. It’s not that the start of the year is the only time you can better yourself. However, it is one of the few times when the vast majority of the population at least gives lip service to personal transformation. You might as well join in.

How To Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Yet, for many people, New Year’s resolutions last for about two to three weeks (if that). Then, the dreams of personal change usually fade away. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping New Year’s goals isn’t always easy. But, it is possible. Here is how.

Set Concrete Goals

Many New Year resolutions fail because the goals aren’t specific. “Losing weight” or “finding true love” are great general resolution ideas. But, they’re so vague that there’s no way of measuring or achieving success. And, if we have no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s hard to stay motivated.

So, set concrete goals, rather than making vague resolutions. Instead of “lose weight,” pick “lose twenty pounds by March” or “fit into size 32 jeans.” “Find true love” could be replaced with “go on three dates by June.” All of those are goals you can work towards and measure (or not) your success.

Create A Tangible Reminder

Sometimes it’s easy to get into a comfortable routine and the desire for change diminishes. We might need a reminder that settling isn’t the answer. Being our best selves typically requires getting out of a rut. A reminder of our goal that we can keep in front of us is always a huge motivator.

Buy a pair of jeans at the size you want to be and hang it up on your closet door. Or, find a picture of a beautiful girl and hang it on your mirror. Whatever resolution you choose, find a physical reminder of what you want and put it in a prominent place. But, always pick an item related to your goal because you always want to…

Keep It Positive

Negative events are great at causing us to want to change. For example, a drug addict hitting rock bottom is a great way to get an addict to seek help. But, at that point, it has to become about recovery, not focusing on the guilt and shame of use.

The same should be true of your resolutions. Focus on the positive outcomes you want, not what led you to that point. So, if you want to take off ten pounds, don’t think about how fat you are. Instead, dwell on how great you will look and feel ten pounds lighter. This will keep you motivated on your goal, not focused on the unhealthy past.

Create A Plan and Checklist

It’s not very inspirational, but it’s useful to create a plan and even a checklist. And make that list stretch the entire year, or at least as long as the date to achieve your goal. So, if you want to lose weight, set a calorie goal, and every day log your calories.

This is to keep yourself accountable. Knowing how to keep New Year’s resolutions is really about knowing how to stick with any type of program. So, having a detailed plan with a daily checklist will help it last beyond January 3rd.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.

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