7 Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
It’s January, and you feel hopeful and motivated to have the best year ever. And so you start to set your resolutions. (I will lose weight. I will get a new job. I will watch less Netflix.) But come March, you’ve lost steam and focus. Here, some manageable tips for following through with your goals. (For real this time.)
1. Be Specific About Your Goals
Transform those sweeping proclamations into quantifiable objectives. For example, instead of vaguely saying that you’ll lose weight, say you’ll drop 10 pounds. Or instead of vowing to keep in better touch with your grandma this year, decide to call her once a week. The more specific your goal is, the better you can track your progress along the way.
2. Buddy Up With a Partner
When it’s a team effort, resolutions feel less like work and more like fun. Want to work out twice a week in 2019? Make regular gym dates with a friend. Team up with a colleague and try productivity challenges at the office—turn off all email and social media alerts for an hour and commit that time to working on your most annoying task for the day. It’s all about finding someone to hold you accountable when you’re feeling distracted, tired, or, you know, human.
3. Prioritize Time in Your Schedule
Fact: You’ll never be able to “find the time” to do something. It’s a daily choice you have to make for yourself. Whether it’s trying to pad your savings with an extra 10K this year or keeping a clean home, schedule off blocks of time in your calendar to devote yourself to these tasks. Then, treat them like a doctor’s appointment or work deadline you absolutely can’t miss.
4. Share (But Don't Overshare)
We hate to say it, but your annoying friend from high school who is always posting on Facebook about her gym workouts and healthy meals is more likely to stick to her goals. You’re much less likely to bail when you have other people watching. Just maybe keep the posts to no more than once a day and pick one channel (not Facebook and Twitter and Instagram).
5. Check In From Time to Time
…Which should be easy since you set quantifiable goals to begin with, right? Seeing your progress—no matter how incremental—will motivate you to keep going (and let you know when you might need to readjust your plan of attack).
6. Reward Yourself
Set up a treat for yourself whenever you reach a benchmark. Just make sure that whatever it is doesn’t derail your hard work. Lost two pounds? Get a massage. Called grandma for three weeks in a row? Go ahead and have some fro-yo.
7. Be Patient With Yourself
It’s not all or nothing. Progress takes time and is never linear. Sometimes, after a long day at work, you’ll skip your workout and binge-eat fries…while binge-watching Gilmore Girls. It’s OK. You didn’t fail at your goals. Just start fresh the next day and keep going. You’ve got this.