What do you do to stick to your New Year’s Resolution all year?
Do you need tips for keeping New Year Resolutions?
New Year’s Resolutions have gotten a bad name over the years. Hardly anyone seems interested in making new year resolutions, and if they do, they do so knowing they have no hope of making resolutions stick. Keeping your New Year Resolutions? What’s that!
So, it’s also not surprising that with 80% of New Year’s Resolutions being broken by February and only 8% of people achieving their New Year’s Resolutions that odds don’t exactly seem to be in your favor.
You might be thinking, “so why bother, right?”
One answer: FOMO.
Don’t miss out on what could be an incredibly motivating new year tradition to help you set and achieve your goals in 2018. Yes, you read that right, the RIGHT Resolution can actually help NOT hurt your new year goals setting.
A Case for Making New Year Resolutions
Unlike what everyone else seems to think about New Year’s Resolutions I still think they have incredible value and are a worthwhile new year tradition. They are a beautiful way to start the new year and a potentially powerful FIRST STEP in your new year goal setting journey.
The key component, being it’s the first step and NOT THE ONLY step you take to make 2018 your year. The second step is then setting actionable goals that you actually achieve so you make your New Year’s Resolution stick.
And, of course, you’ve taken time to choose the RIGHT Resolution that resolves a great challenge in your life too.
There seems to be so much backlash against making New Year’s Resolutions in favor of setting goals as if the two can’t positively reinforce each other.
And let’s just be clear, it’s not about WHAT you call it, but how you approach it. You can just as easily make a new year’s goal and not achieve it. It’s not calling it a goal or a resolution that makes or breaks it. But how you approach keeping New Year Resolutions or goals that make it so.
Whether you’re making new year’s resolutions and curious about how to stick to your New Year Resolution, or you’re setting a yearly goal and want to know the steps to achieving goals in 2018, this post is for you.
Here are 12 helpful tips for keeping New Year Resolutions or goals in 2018:
- Write Your Resolution Down on Paper
- Make Sure Your Resolution is R.I.G.H.T.
- Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal for Your New Year’s Resolution
- Select Easy to Reach “Mini” Goals
- Give Your “Wish” a Deadline
- Stay Motivated by Tracking Your Progress
- Take It One Week at a Time
- Celebrate with Rewards Along the Way
- Keep a Journal or Use a Planner
- Let Others Stop You From Quitting
- Find a Partner in Crime
- Create New Habits to Make It ‘Stick’
Tip #1: Write Your Resolution Down on Paper
Resolutions, like most “wishes” we make, are often spoken or whispered at “magical” times, like birthdays or midnight on New Years. Break the curse of not following through, by writing down your New Year’s Resolution on paper. Writing it down makes it tangible and real to you.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Find a piece of paper and write down your New Year’s Resolution. You can take this even more seriously by writing it nicely to be displayed in a frame or posted on your wall. Display your resolution somewhere you can see it daily and meditate on making it a reality.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: The Ultimate List of Unique New Year’s Resolution Ideas
Tip #2: Make Sure Your Resolution is R.I.G.H.T.
Before you even worry about making your resolution stick, you need to make sure it’s the RIGHT Resolution for you. You know how it is, the New Year approaches and we can get super self-conscious about our lives and end up making (and then breaking) the most common New Year’s Resolutions. Top 3 being: to exercise more, lose weight and eat more healthy. It’s not that there’s inherently anything wrong with these resolutions, just that they can be “shallow” because they hold no deep meaning to us nor do they align with your own true and deepest personal intentions and desires. We just think they do.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Choose the Right New Year’s Resolution
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Evaluate your intended resolution to make sure it’s R.I.G.H.T. Ask yourself these 5 questions:
- RESOLVE: Does your New Year’s Resolution address your greatest challenge?
- INTUITIVE: Is your New Year’s Resolution a “good fit” for you and your abilities?
- GENUINE: Is this New Year’s Resolution you? Are you being authentic?
- HOPEFUL: Is the emotional sentiment of your New Year’s Resolution hopeful and positive?
- TRANSFORMATIVE: Is the process of achieving your New Year’s Resolution transformative to you? How?
Tip #3: Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal for Your New Year’s Resolution
Take your New Year Resolution farther still by setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal. The one resolution you should always make is to set goals too. Like we discussed in Tip #1, resolutions are usually just wishes made at midnight, without any real plans, strategies or timelines for completion. Without goals to back it up, you’ll fail at making resolutions stick.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 6 Simple Secrets to Setting Achievable Goals
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Don’t just make a resolution, putting it out there for the universe to make it happen. Break the cycle by being S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Ask yourself:
- SPECIFIC: What exactly do you need to achieve?
- MEASURABLE: How exactly will you measure your progress and success?
- ATTAINABLE: What do you need in order to achieve your goal?
- RELEVANT: Why do you want to achieve this goal? Does it fit with your intention?
- TIMELY: What’s your deadline for your goal? Is it achievable?
Just like the test in Tip#2, if your new year goal passes this test too, you’re doubly likely to stick to your New Year Resolution.
Tip #4: Select Easy to Reach “Mini” Goals
How do you stay motivated for the entire year to keep your New Year Resolution? Let me introduce you to “mini” goals, that unlike your #1 BIG goal for the year, they’re easier for you to achieve and require less time. “Mini” goals also provide measurable proof (remember that M in S.M.A.R.T.) that you’re making progress, thus delivering that much-needed boost of confidence that you can reach your BIG goal (and consequently making resolutions stick too – a happy side effect).
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How Do I Slay My Goals?
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Deconstruct your New Year’s Resolution (now a R.I.G.H.T. and S.M.A.R.T. goal) even farther, into smaller goals that you have to meet before you reach your end goal. Set these up as milestones on your way to success.
For example, if your big goal is to start your first online business in 2018, rather than just having this one goal you would decide what milestones you need to hit each month. Some mini goals for starting your own business could be, saving seed money, writing a business plan, creating a website, networking or landing your first client. Yes, each of these goals can be deconstructed further, but they’re much more achievable than your larger goal.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 8 Simple Steps to Being Your Own Boss
Tip #5: Give Your “Wish” a Deadline
Without a deadline, it’s just a wish. And remember, we’re now setting goals, not making wishes. You can easily transform any wish (without fairy godmothers or clovers) into an achievable goal by giving it a specific and firm deadline. An end date or due date for success forces you to figure out practically speaking HOW you are going to achieve this goal.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Select your goal and give it a deadline. Then, strategically work your way from the end goal, step by step, to where you are now. How much time is realistic? And please avoid the tendency to say by the end of the year. Set “mini” goals and milestones for each quarter or whatever time frame makes sense for your goal. Give each mini goal its own timeline (more on this in Tip #5).
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Overcome Your #1 Struggle as an Entrepreneur
Tip #6: Stay Motivated by Tracking Your Progress
It’s difficult to stay motivated for the entire year, without any signs of success. That’s where tracking your progress and quick wins come in. When you’re able to see in black and white that you actually are making progress, you get excited and motivated to keep going. Once you start building momentum you’ll be keeping your New Year’s Resolutions. This is where the M, in SMART goals comes in. It’s not for motivation, but for measurable.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Figure out your unit of measurement for your S.M.A.R.T. goal. Then start keeping track of your progress in a notebook, spreadsheet or document. Update it daily or weekly, however often you work on your goal. Some ways of measuring progress include finances (money earned, saved or debt reduced), consumption (what you ate or drank), or time commitment (how many hours, minutes or days). Your goal determines how you’ll measure your progress.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 8 Motivation Killers You Need to Know About
Tip #7: Take It One Week at a Time
Don’t worry about making it through the entire year, just focus on making it through today and this week. With the start of the new year, 12 months can seem like a long time to stick to your resolution. But, what seems like a year of possibility, can easily feel like a year-long jail sentence. The solution is to stick to your New Year’s Resolution for one week at a time.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Start thinking of your resolution or goal as a weekly commitment. What do you have to do today, tomorrow and only this week to stick to your resolution? If you want to save $10K in 2018, how much do you need to save this week? Focus your energies on not overspending in your present and let the rest of the 12 months be a concern for later.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Crush Your To-Do List
Tip #8: Celebrate with Rewards Along the Way
As time goes on and the initial excitement wears off, it gets REALLY HARD to keep your New Year’s Resolution. One of the best-kept secrets is creating a system of rewards and celebrations for meeting your “mini” goals. Hit a major (or even a minor) milestone, awesome, let’s celebrate! By rewarding yourself, it becomes more about getting to your next reward, and less about all you have to do the get there. Having a positive reinforcement for sticking to your New Year’s Resolution can encourage you to keep going, even when it gets hard.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Create a system of rewards and celebrations as you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions throughout the year. When you hit your “mini” goal, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. Rewards can include cheat days, date nights, movies or whatever it is you enjoy (but doesn’t harm your progress towards achieving your New Year’s Resolution too much).
Tip #9: Keep a Journal or Use a Planner
When goal setting fatigue sets in you’ll want to skip, not do it and start doubting why you ever picked this resolution or goal for yourself. From day one, you should build in some internal accountability by keeping a journal or using a planner. By writing it down on paper you’re more likely to stay on track. And bonus, you’re also making measuring your progress (remember tip #6) that much easier.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Pick up a pretty new journal or planner and start by writing down your New Year’s Resolution, S.M.A.R.T. goal and “mini” goals. Then, daily record what you’ve done to reach your goals, list goal-related to-dos you’ve crushed, and anything about your goals. You can also do this in a Google Doc, EverNote or whatever works best for you.
Tip #10: Let Others Stop You From Quitting
One of the most common goal setting mistakes and reasons why New Year’s Resolutions don’t stick is that we never tell anyone! We keep it to ourselves and then when we feel like quitting, there’s no one there to push us on. You MUST add in some external accountability too! Recruit your cheering section to help you make your New Year Resolutions stick.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Share your New Year’s Resolution and goals with your family and friends asking for their support and encouragement. Check in with them regularly and reach out to them when you feel like giving up. You can take this up a notch by making a public declaration on social media, a blog or YouTube channel. It’s amazing how not wanting to disappoint your family, friends or followers can keep you on track.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 45 Uplifting Quotes for When You Feel Like Giving Up
Tip #11: Find a Partner in Crime
Do you know someone who has made the same New Year’s Resolution or yearly goal as you? Perfect, let’s make it official by making them your accountability partner. One of the best ways to make your New Year’s Resolution stick is to have someone with the same challenges, dreams, and hopes as you, by your side.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Start reaching out to your friends and family (which you’re already doing in Tip 10 right!) and see if anyone has a similar goal as you. If you can’t find an accountability buddy in your immediate circle and reaching out in Facebook Groups or other online forums. No fancy proposals needed, simply ask if anyone would be interested in being accountability buddies and checking in once a week. Set goals with each other for the next week, then on your call check in to see how you did. Also, share best practices, resources, and tips for success.
Tip #12: Create New Habits to Make It ‘Stick’
Rather than seeing all the “mini” goals and to-dos, you need to accomplish this year to meet your New Year’s Resolution, focus on forming a new habit that makes accomplishing your goals easier. With repetition and rhythm creating the space and time to work on your goal becomes second nature. Soon you won’t even struggle to get started, you just will because you’ve been doing it for weeks and months. Habits make your new year’s resolution stick by making it your “new” normal.
HOW TO STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Create new habits by first choosing a specific time and place for making resolutions stick. Maybe it’s every Sunday after Church or every Tuesday after the gym, in your office or your favorite coffee shop. By creating a schedule for yourself, you fall into a natural rhythm.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Automate Your Success with Good Habits
For example, if your goal is to eat healthily, change where you shop, which grocery aisles you walk down – maybe you’ll go through the veggie aisle and walk past the junk food. The first time is hard, second time easier and before you know it you won’t even see what you can’t have.
Take the Quiz – What Should My New Year’s Resolution Be?👇🏽
Now that you know how to stick to your new year resolution, are you ready to make a 2018 resolution?
Take the New Year’s Resolution Quiz and discover what area of your life you should focus on in 2018. Plus, get unique resolution ideas with your results.
Fill out the form below to take the free quiz + get weekly tips to help you slay your goals in 2018.
What’s your #1 tip for keeping New Year Resolutions?
Take the New Year's Resolution Quiz!
+ get tips to help you make 2018 your year.