7 Foolproof Ways To Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolution This Year

Resolutions are good for our character.  

It is our desire to achieve greatness and better ourselves in more ways than one that drive us to conjure them.   They can also be tricky.  We start with one, then add an 8x10 page of "wills and will not’s."  After that, we carry all the resolutions that didn’t get accomplished in previous years over to this years.  

Optimistically, we attempt to convince ourselves that we'll be on the right track as of January 1st.  By the end of February, you're on the phone with customer service trying to cancel your gym membership, while ordering a burrito supreme at the Taco Bell drive thru.  With a diet coke, please! 

Let's face it- we don't follow through.

I will NOT leave everything ‘til the last minute.  I must NOT leave everything to the last minute!  So had been the top NY's resolution, since I began ‘adulting’ full time in 2003.

By now, I figured enough about myself to know that I’m a perpetual procrastinator and that this resolution per se, isn’t going to cut it. Someone like me needs to adhere to a concise and incremental plan.  

Over the past few years I’ve been more successful at maintaining my goals.  I didn't invent the wheel with these tips, but rather, narrowed down the ones that really work.  I hope they come in handy for you too!

1. Start small

Your New Year’s resolution(s) should not be the length of your bucket list.  On the contrary, trying to accomplish everything at once will overwhelm and deter you from the plan. 

Instead, write down 2-3 (max) goals that you can fully implement on a weekly basis.  Avoid occupying your thoughts with what’s going to happen 60, or even 30 days from now.  Focusing on what needs to be done on a daily basis will provide a sense of self assurance and keep you motivated.  If you get one thing done every single day, it'll add up over time.  

One of my goals for this year will be to keep the closet organized year round.  Seriously, it’s like a bomb goes off every night in there.  I’ve already told myself I will clean up one section ever week instead of looking at the entire closet discouragingly, while stuffing another bra under the yoga pants pile.  Yes, I said pile!

2. Start now. 

I cringe, you cringe, we ALL cringe.  Realize it or not, the beginning of the year is a disorderly time to get a hold of ambitions.  The high of the holidays begins to fizzle, the holiday spending re-emerges in the form of credit card bills and it’s time to go back to work. 

By starting earlier, you’ll at least have 1-2 weeks to adapt to some of the upcoming changes and/challenges you could potentially face.  Entering the New Year with a sense of preparation will increase the likelihood that you’ll follow through.  

Hit the gym 3 times this week and next.  Feel free to post pictures and use all the necessary hashtags: #fitchick #gymrat #lifestyle #trainharderthanme - you know, all the must-haves.

3. Be practical.

There’s a high probability that deciding to ‘live clean” by eating Tilapia with a side of asparagus for breakfast, lunch and dinner will end in total failure (in part because it’s soo boring and gross too, actually). 

Why not start by replacing some of your favorite fried foods with something grilled?  Saying that you’ll wake up at 5 am to jog without the jaws of life by your side isn’t exactly practical.  Drastic and non-negotiable objectives are very taxing.  Unrealistic goals have a negative impact on us, being the primary reason why only 8% of goal setters achieve what they decided on.  

4. Be honest with yourself.  

The following questions will help you determine how important any given resolution is to you and should be answered on a personal level. 

Why am I trying to do this?

Do I have the time to commit?

Can this be a part of my already established lifestyle?

What are the resources I’ll need to stay in my goal path?

Am I prepared for possible road blocks?  If so, what’s my game plan?

When should I start seeing results?

By being true to yourself, you’re more likely to keep the expectation at a tangible level.  Goals serve no purpose if they aren’t doable.  

5. Don’t give up.  

Unfortunately, things happen.  

Family dynamics, work situations and every day illnesses will potentially stand in the way of your accomplishments.  Let's put it this way: the inability to find your car keys could change your entire day, and that's pretty minimal.  My point is, even insignificant events have the latency of being obstacles.

 **Grabs pen and adds  "make designated spot for keys" to the list of resolutions.**  

Deal with the nonsense and get back to your goals.  You got this!   

6. Re-evaluate regularly. 

There's nothing wrong with self-reflection.  On the contrary, it keeps everything in perspective.  Many times we think up a strategy that looks great on paper but doesn’t work out the way we thought it would.  

By assessing your progress periodically, you’re guaranteed more ownership.  You can easily maneuver and tweak some of the variables in your game plan in hopes to be successful. 

7. Set a goal as a family.  

A little teamwork goes a long way.  Everyone needs a support system, who better than your loved ones?  There’s always something you could be doing as a nucleus.  By setting a collective goal that is feasible for everyone, you’ll boost encourage one another along the way.  Achieving goals as a family is huge and will strengthen the bond you all share.  A few years back we said we would become divers.  We took the course together when Dylan of age and since then it's something we enjoy almost year round.  This type of resolution definitely has ulterior rewards, take full advantage of that.  

I’ve got my resolutions lined up and a structured plan in hopes to achieve them. Do you? Try it, you’ll thank yourself next year.  

Happy New Year!