What if 2020 was the year we actually kept our resolutions? Every year we make them. And every year we seem to break them. We start the end of each year mulling over our obstacles and successes–the things we achieved and the things we wish we could’ve done better. We compile our resolutions for the year ahead and create to-do lists of how we aim to achieve them. But every year, like clockwork, we seem to revert back to our old ways before January has even ended.
No matter what you’ve promised–to eat healthier, to hit the yoga mat more often, or even just to be a bit kinder to yourself–these tips will help you start 2020 strong, and make those resolutions actually stick.
Be realistic with yourself and set resolutions that you know are actually attainable. If you live for desserts, vowing to cut sweets completely out of your diet will not only be incredibly difficult, but likely to make you miserable if they’re something you truly enjoy. Take a good hard look at the level of commitment and life changes you’ll need to make to achieve your goals, and get brutally honest. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Vague resolutions simply do not work for so many reasons. One is that it’s hard to know where to start and where to end. How will you know when you’ve actually achieved your goal? Planning for success takes an actionable plan. For instance, if your goal is to save money, make sure that you are outlining the amount of money you plan to save each month, as well as the amount of the end goal. That way you can track your progress along the way and celebrate once you’re done.
Write everything down
It’s a known fact that people who write their resolutions down have a higher chance of actually achieving them. Write them in your journal, leave post-its on the fridge, or notes on your mirror. Look at them often to remind yourself of what you’re working towards, track your progress, find challenge areas, and rehash your plan if you need to.
Go step by step
Look, New Year’s resolutions can seem super daunting when they require a big lifestyle change. That’s why small, actionable steps are so important. Break each goal into tiny to-dos to set yourself on the right track. Taking on the entire goal at once is not likely to end well, but if you take the steps one by one, you’re more likely to stick to these new habits and carry them into your life long-term.
Share your goals
Making your resolutions public holds you more accountable. Tell family and friends about your resolutions and how you plan to stick to them. They are your biggest support system, and you’ll need them when the road gets a bit rocky. Better yet, find a buddy or a group with similar goals and help each other achieve objectives. You are not in this alone.
Check-in with yourself
This is the time you break out that notebook or journal and check-in with yourself to see how far you’ve come along. Keeping track of each small success will invigorate you and keep you motivated. Or if you’ve been encountering any snags along the way, now is a good time to rethink those actionable next steps and make tiny tweaks to get yourself headed back in the right direction.
Celebrate small wins
It’s easy to get discouraged with long-term goals, especially when you don’t see instant results. That’s why celebrating tiny successes is so important. Each little milestone deserves a mini victory dance–treat yourself to a night out with the ladies, a good home-cooked dinner, or a relaxing evening in. Have fun with it, and become your own biggest fan.
Believe in yourself
If you don’t actually believe you can do it, you probably never will. Rephrase or reformat your resolutions into something you wholeheartedly believe you can do, and you will! The path towards success is paved with many obstacles, so don’t let tiny setbacks get you down. With challenges come opportunities, why is why believing in yourself is so important. So get those goals out, jot them down, and get ready to show 2020 who’s boss. You got this.