Tips for not breaking a New Year’s resolution

Tips for not breaking a New Year’s resolution

Psychology Today

New Year’s resolutions are meant to help people improve their lives and themselves. However, like goal-setting, not everyone manages to stick with their resolutions after February passes by. Here are some tips that one can follow to stay with his/her resolution(s).

First, it is important to come up with a realistic resolution. If a goal is not realistic, there’s no motivation to accomplish the task at hand. By realistic, the resolution should be a little bit of a challenge but still do-able. It’s not possible to lose 20 pounds each week, but a couple pounds shaved off per week is manageable. 

Second, in order to remember a resolution in the first place, visual reminders should be used. These can be simple reminders like sticky notes or elaborate alarms on an electronic device. Friends are also great ways to remember one’s resolution.

Speaking of friends, they can motivate one to continue towards their goal. Using the pound example, one is more likely to exercise with a friend than if they were all alone. Friends, no matter how close, can make the experience more enjoyable and tolerable.

Next, it is important to keep track of how one’s resolution(s) is/are going. There are many ways to do this, such as with a progress bar, planner, or calendar. This helps remind one how he/she is doing and where they can improve.

Another important concept with resolutions is to regularly celebrate the victories, no matter how small. The incentives don’t have to be fancy or big, but they should provide happiness in some capacity. Some examples of incentives include a spa, a trip to the movies, or even a new CD.

Lastly, it is important to continue to make progress after achieving one’s goal. After all, undoing all of one’s efforts is not very effective. For example, instead of partying with junk food after losing 30 pounds total, one can use what they have learned to remain healthy.

New Year’s resolutions may be cliche, but it’s the spirit of them that helps society move forward.