5 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last All Year Long

New Years ResolutionsThe New Year is a great time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Many people elect to make New Year’s resolutions, but studies show again and again that these resolutions simply don’t work long term. Here are five ways to make and keep your resolution, ensuring you won’t reach the end of February feeling defeated by failure.

  1. Be realistic
    First and foremost, it’s important to be realistic. Take a look at your diet, your finances, or the time you have available and take those into account when making your goal. If you understand what steps you need to take to meet your resolution beforehand, you will appreciate the work it takes to get there much more. Think about what you want to work toward, what you need to do to get there and how to manage any slip-ups or if you don’t make your target goal.

  2. Set mini-goals
    Recognize the fact that it can be very daunting to conquer something like losing weight or organizing your entire basement, so try to break it down into little pieces or mini-goals. If you are trying to manage your debt in 2015, start out with one credit card and work towards paying that down before you move onto a larger debt. Or if you have resolved to go back to school, try an online class first to get a feel for your degree program.

  3. Use your existing habits as a framework
    Use your daily routine to work for you. If you normally devour a fattening mid-day snack, switch it up and reach for a bag of Riceworks crisps instead. Divide a larger bag into several portion sizes so you know exactly how much you are consuming.  Look for opportunities in your everyday schedule to make progress on your goal and incorporate healthy habits where they fit. Little changes make a big difference!

  4. Keep yourself accountable
    It’s important to include the people in your life informed of your resolutions and goals. Tell everyone about your resolution, that way you will be less likely to put off or breaking it or giving up. The more people who know about your goals, the more likely you will follow through.

  5. When you (inevitably) fall short
    You will probably hit a few bumps in the road and that’s okay. Recognize it and move on. Take the time re-evaluate your goals. The reason many resolutions fail is because they are either too unrealistic or aren’t challenging enough. Find out where you are and reflect on what you can do to get back on track.

Remember that you set an intention to make yourself better in 2015 and that you are working toward bettering yourself and/or your family in some way. If you are honest with yourself, set reachable goals, work with your existing schedule and keep yourself accountable, you’ll be well on your way to a prosperous 2015.

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Published: Wednesday, December 31, 2014