Inner.U LIFE is the revolutionary online life coaching platform that is the secret sauce to getting yourself unstuck and thriving where it matters most in your life. You can access the program on your own time, from whatever setting you choose, using The Handel Method® coaching modules. In other words, it’s life coaching for the modern woman. Sign up today.

Why is it that as soon as January 1 rolls around, we feel an insane amount of pressure to become a totally different person (see: lack of available treadmills, packed grocery stores, and skyrocketing subscriptions to fitness boutiques)?

This year, however, is unlike any other (no pilates studio packages here!), which is why our resolutions—and the way we make them—should feel different as well. Laurie Gerber, Head Life Coach at Handel Group, says you should forget about resolutions and start working towards your dreams now (pandemic or otherwise). Here, her simple steps for how to craft “promises” instead of resolutions, and the one tip that’ll actually help you keep all of them.

resolutions writing down
Mayur Kakade/Getty Images

Get a Head Start Before the Holidays

According to a report from U.S. News & World, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February. The report cites the lack of understanding: Setting goals centered around dieting and fitness neglects to take into account the stressfulness of change and the inevitable disappointment when the results are not immediately noticeable. Gerber says to start working towards your dreams now. Start making (and keeping) actionable, specific promises today and you’ll be a pro come January.

resolutions yoga
Oscar Wong/Getty Images

Make Promises, Not Resolutions

According to Gerber, humans rarely keep resolutions because they're usually monumentally big, too vague and not measurable. “Get healthier,” “improve relationships with my family,” and “spend less time on social media” are all rooted in the right place, but don’t include action. Instead, make promises that are specific and measurable, like “work out for 30 minutes five days a week.” If you do fail one week, you can then hold yourself accountable. When you do keep a promise to yourself (or tell the truth about when you don't), you're able to build self-trust.

resolutions woman computer burnt out
Westend61/Getty Images

Set Consequences for Yourself

Speaking of accountability, set consequences if you do break a promise. These can be funny, annoying tasks, like paying your kids $10 if you miss the gym. (And, yes, tell them about it so they hold you accountable to it as well.) If you don't keep your promise, pay up. Instead of feeling guilty, you’ll have a (literal) price to pay for not keeping up your end of the bargain. Some of Gerber’s other go-to “consequences” are push-ups, skipping cream in your coffee, calling a relative or spending a day away from Instagram.

resolutions virtual coaching
Oscar Wong/Getty Images

Use a Promise Tracker to Actually Stick to Your Goals

Gerber’s number one tip for sticking to your goals: using an accountability system, like Inner.U's Promise Tracker. How it works: Inner.U will set you up with one free life coaching session as well as a free 6-week group Masterclass (yep, you can do it all from the comfort of your own couch) and your very own Promise Tracker, which locks you into your self-designed specific promises and, yes, consequences. You can schedule check-ins, find an accountability buddy (different than a drinking buddy) who will help you through the sticking points in keeping those very promises. The key to its success: fostering Personal Integrity within yourself, aka the ability to make and keep a promise to yourself so that you can accomplish your dreams. As Gerber says, “Happiness, self-esteem, and personal pride come from knowing you can count on you.”

From Around The Web