Stick to Your Resolution (For Real This Year)

By Kimberly Rodrigues

Every New Year, it’s the same story: You pledge to make one positive change in your life, but when the hectic pace of real life sets in that resolution gets left in the dust. No sugar for a year? Yeah, right. Come February you’re grabbing two-for-one pints of Ben and Jerry’s at the grocery store. Don’t beat yourself up about it: Even the most  well-intentioned resolutions are doomed for failure without the right action plan. Follow our simple steps and you will stick to that goal this year:

Keep it real. Making resolutions that are too far from reach will only succeed in discouraging you. Start with baby steps and work your way up. So, instead of setting a resolution to get up early and run every morning, try downsizing that to two days per week, slowly adding one day per week for every month you keep your goal. Remember: Achieving smaller goals builds confidence you will need to tackle the bigger ones down the road.

Keep a list. Write your resolution down on a piece of paper, and post it where you can see it every day. Seeing that goal stare back at you in the bathroom mirror, for example, is a great way to keep it in the forefront of your mind and harder to forget.

Keep it social. Tell your best friend, partner, or closest family member your resolution this year.  Sharing your goal with a few trustworthy and confident friends will help motivate you to keep that resolution.

Keep an open mind. Don’t get down on yourself for cheating once or twice on your goal. An important part of setting realistic goals is understanding that no one is perfect; so why should you be? Banish black-and-white thinking and brush off your slipup. You can always start over right now.

Keep going. Plateaus are everywhere. When it seems like there is no use in moving forward, push yourself to keep going a little longer. Oftentimes the results you’re looking for are just on the other side of that annoying plateau.