Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

It’s coming; the New Year is just around the corner. In a week, millions of Americans will be swearing promises meant to improve their lives and personal well-being. Unfortunately, according to a recent poll by Marist, only 59% of people will actually keep those well-meant resolutions. Why is that? Why are only 59% of us successful? Well, truthfully, most of us are procrastinators and typically we pick far-fetched goals. New Year’s resolutions are difficult things to do, otherwise we would have figured out a way to accomplish them already.

Most of us tend to go for goals in one of seven categories: work, relationships, physical health, leisure, spirituality, organization, and creativity. This makes sense, considering how much we desire to live a full and happier life. We are on a continued quest to improve. Still, even with these grand aspirations, on the whole our goals don’t stick. We forget to make a plan, we forget to remove barriers, we forget that our goals involve other people that may not have the same goals in mind. Sure, they might last a few weeks, but very few people are able to maintain their stride and make it through the next twelve months without losing that momentum. Clearly, what we’re doing isn’t working.

So how can we make our resolutions stick?

Plan Ahead:

Make a plan that will help you achieve your goal. Try and keep very realistic expectations and give yourself some flexibility. Develop a routine, set some measurable goals, and find a great way to track your progress. Immerse yourself in the mentality that this is a task in which you have “no choice.” Consider your goal a duty to yourself – you’ll be much more likely to respond.

Know Yourself:

When people start to feel discouraged or put down, unhelpful thoughts get in the way of succeeding at their goal. To nip this in the bud before it starts to grow into a major barrier to success, get ahead. Think through the thoughts you might have that could get in your way and prepare yourself to deal with them. This will help you get back on track if you slip up.

Set Up a Support System:

There is nothing better than having an affirming and supportive friend to encourage you and keep you accountable to your goals.


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