Person writing in white chalk on chalk board that is green their new years resolutions

Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

Every year, many of us promise to make positive changes in our lives, whether to eat healthier, exercise more, or learn something new. With COVID-19 still raging, 2021 brings on new challenges, making it more difficult to keep resolutions. 

In fact, research shows that 80% of people have given up their resolutions by the second week of February. The reasons why vary, from unrealistic goals to procrastination. 

If you want to beat the odds and make your resolutions stick, keep reading for three ways you can increase your chances of success.

Quit making resolutions; make a PLAN. It’s ok to spend a day, or even a couple of hours over several weeks, gathering your thoughts. Your end goal won’t just magically happen if you don’t figure out steps to get there. 

Create a vision board. I learned this methodology from motivational speaker Richard Tosti; I realized that it worked when I bought my first BMW. Since then, I’ve learned that my daughter has a vision board party every year and I’m working on my own for 2021. Having a vision board doesn’t mean everything you put on the board will happen in a year, but it’s a great place to start. 

Set realistic goals. This seems like common sense but can be challenging to achieve. Often you will need to do a little research to determine whether one (or all) of your goals are realistic. For example, I want to lose 13 pounds by the end of June, or two pounds per month. There is plenty of research that provides some insight into the best methods, but I’ve found that the milestones might be challenging to reach while the goal is realistic.

  • Determine why the goal is important. When I am at a certain weight, my blood test numbers are usually good, which keeps me and my doctor happy. My wife will think I’m too skinny, but it’s a good compromise instead of being sick and having to take medication. The science of taking action has shown that having a compelling reason for your ideas and goals will increase the likelihood of them getting accomplished.
  • Think about things that can get in the way of achieving your goal and how to overcome the hurdles. Networking events that include appetizers and drinks are a big hurdle when I’m trying to lose weight. Ideas for me to overcome these include eating before the event, drinking seltzer water, or looking for other low-calorie alternatives to drink during the event.
  • Measure the results. I have found that weighing myself every day helps me stay on track and make minor changes where necessary. Think about what will help you track milestones: There are several tools you can use, such as Trello, Basecamp, your smartphone, and even paper and pen. 

That’s it for now! Good luck in reaching some of those New Year’s Goals. If you have realistic expectations, understand the purpose of the goal, and can track your progress, then you have an excellent opportunity to achieve what you set out to do.