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How to Make and Keep A New Year’s Resolution

Every New Year, we collectively as a society look at the year ahead and make resolutions for self-improvement on all levels. Whether you want to start a fitness routine, eat healthier, spend more time with friends, or improve your work/life balance- resolutions can be easy to make but hard to keep.

Statistically speaking, only 19% of New Year Resolutions are kept throughout the entire year. That means 81% get abandoned at some point throughout the 12 months. It may not be your fault if you have ditched your resolution in the past. We have a genetic predisposition to reject change and make our way back towards what’s familiar and comfortable. However, you can consider a few things when you are making your resolution that will help increase your odds of success and make your resolution your new normal!  

Make it Attainable  

When making your resolution, think to yourself – “Is this actually possible?” For example, if you have never run before, and you resolve to run 10 miles a day, there is a much greater chance that you will not achieve your goals. Look at your lifestyle, schedule, and other factors in your life when making your resolution, and be reasonable about what you can achieve. It still counts as a resolution even if it isn’t grand!   

Make it Measurable   

Be as specific as you can when you make your resolution so that you can measure your progress. Things like “I want to eat better” and “I want to spend more time with my kids” can be hard to measure, and therefore hard to track. Instead, try “I want to eat one portion of veggies two meals a day” or “I want to spend 30 minutes a day reading with my kids”. That way, you can look from day to day or week to week and see if you are keeping up with your goal.   

Find Accountability   

Share your resolution with your friends and family, and encourage them to ask you about your progress. Look for support groups or others that may have similar resolutions to help you stay on track. If someone is sharing their progress with you, it might inspire you to do the same. Those with similar goals may also share words of wisdom and keys to success.  

Link Your Habits   

Tying a new resolution in with something that you already do can make the chances of success much more significant than beginning a new habit altogether. Think of your current day-to-day life and see if there is an opportunity for expansion. For instance, perhaps your resolution is to expand your knowledge on a topic, and you spend 30 minutes a day cooking dinner. You could listen to a podcast or book on that topic while you cooked each night.