Strategies for Following Through on Your New Year’s Resolution

This is the Year!

When a new year begins, many of us make resolutions about how we’ll work to improve our lives. However, most of us will abandon our New Year’s resolution before February comes. We start out with good intentions but once January gets into full swing, we may start to lose focus—and our willpower. This year, you can ensure that your New Year’s resolution isn’t made in vain. Just follow these strategies for sticking to your guns and you’ll find success in 2017.

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1. Be Realistic
When you’re setting your goal, be sure that you’re not being too lofty. If you never go to the gym now, you probably won’t go every day starting in January. If you want to make a career change, you shouldn’t start applying to a bunch of jobs in a new field that you lack experience in. Be realistic. If you set yourself up for disappointment, you’ll certainly lose motivation after a couple of weeks of trying and failing.

2. Take Baby Steps
While you may want to go full steam ahead with your resolution, it’s probably a good idea to map out how you’ll get there in stages. That way, you’ll have a plan of action you can follow. Taking small steps each day, like resolving to take a walk during your lunch break or to research classes that can help you learn a new skill, will add up over time.

3. Don’t Quit When You Slip Up
Falling off the wagon is inevitable when you’re working on your New Year’s resolution. But just because you mess up, that doesn’t mean you should abandon your resolution altogether. Acknowledge that you took a step back and don’t beat yourself up about it. Small setbacks are a part of life and you can use this one as a chance to strengthen your resolve.

4. Enlist an Accountability Partner
To stay on track, it may help to ask a friend or family member to be your support system as you embark on your New Year’s resolution. This is someone who can check in with you to hear about your progress and who you can call on when you’re in need of inspiration. Having this person by your side, even figuratively, will encourage you to continue on, even when you’re having doubts about your own ability to keep going.

5. Reward Yourself Along the Way
All work and no play can make even those with the strongest resolve quit without reaching their goals. Make a point to celebrate your success often—the first week you start your resolution, the first month, and so on. If you’re working on a fitness-related goal, reward yourself with a cool new pair of yoga pants, make a delicious post-workout smoothie or start saving money to get yourself a fitness tracking device. Knowing you have a reward on the horizon will help you push yourself and reap the benefits of whatever it is you’re going to celebrate your success with.

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