5 Steps to Making a New Year’s Resolution You Can Stick To
by Lindsay Howard
Every New Year we are flooded with thoughts of making changes and setting goals for ourselves; and if we aren’t, our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are full of other people’s! The problem is most of these thoughts only last for a few days or weeks, and then fade away, leaving you with regret and dissatisfaction. This is because most New Year’s Resolutions are unrealistic, or they are much too broad and general.
Here are some tips on how to make a REAL New Year’s Resolution and stick with it.
Step 1: Decide what you want to accomplish.
We will use “lose weight” as an example. Some people will begin the year with a resolution that is very general such as, “I want to lose weight.” The problem here is that person has no plan, no specifics, so these thoughts and ideas are pushed into the back of their mind. However, this is your starting point!
Step 2: Figure out how.
How will you lose weight? Go to the gym more, or clean up your diet a bit? Those are great places to start, but still need to be honed in on in order to maximize your chances of success! Make a list of things you’d like to do more of, or less of. For example: “Go to the gym more, order out less, don’t stay up so late, cook more meals at home, take the dog for more walks.” All of these things tie into losing weight and are important components of your resolution!
Step 3: Specifics.
Once you’ve decided all of the things that are going to get you to your overall goal, put a specific plan in place. For example: “I will go to the gym at least 3 days per week, I will only order out for a meal one time per week.” With more specifics surrounding your plan, you will be much more likely to hold yourself accountable!
Step 4: Make a timeline.
Your goal needs to have a specific timeline. Do you want to lose 20 lbs. this year? Fit into a specific pair of jeans by summertime? Be able to finish a race that is coming up in the spring? Having a date on which you’d like to reach your goal serves as great motivation!
Step 5: Track your progress.
Being able to track your progress is essential to fulfilling your resolution. For instance, going along with our weight-loss example, things like food logs and exercise journals are an excellent way to keep you on track. Additionally, checking in with your progress weekly, or biweekly, will keep you moving in the right direction! Check your weight, compare before-and-after photos side by side, and/or do simple waist measurements.
If you are someone who has tried and come up short year after year, take a minute to think about what things are holding you back or that you aren’t doing to reach your goals. Maybe you need more accountability? Perhaps consulting a Registered Dietitian or Personal Trainer may be something to consider. Or maybe you just need more support. Find a friend or family member who shares your New Year’s Resolution, and get after it together! Create a plan to reach your goal and 2017 really can be YOUR year!