How to Stick to New Year’s Resolutions

An older gentleman stretches for an early morning workout. He's sticking to a New Year's resolution he made to improve his health.

Do you have big plans to ring in 2020 with resolutions? Whether you want to lose weight, exercise more or pay down your debt, starting the New Year on the right foot means making a commitment. Here are some tips to stick to your goals.

Make Specific Goals

To take control of your resolutions, carefully consider what you want to achieve by setting a goal that motivates you, then make sure your goal is clear and well defined. Having a vague goal in mind, like “I want to lose weight,” won’t give you the focus and direction you need. Instead, come up with an achievable goal such as, “I will commit to working out at the gym twice a week.”

Take Small Steps

Breaking your goals down into smaller, manageable actions will help you achieve them.  For example, if you haven’t saved a lot of money in the past and now you suddenly want to save thousands of dollars, you may be setting yourself up for failure. A more achievable goal is to start small by trying to save a modest amount in January ($100), then build up the amount you put away each month.

Get in the Habit

It’s important to do everything you can to ensure you work toward your resolution on a consistent basis. Some habits are easy to build while others require more effort. This may mean changing your schedule or setting reminders to stay on track. Accomplishing small goals to reach the big ones will also help you to form habits. Try committing to a specific action by setting aside time each week or month to do it. An example would be to track your financial progress. Set aside time each month to see how much progress you’ve made on your money goals. How much debt have you paid off? How much money have you set aside for your summer trip next year? How much have you saved to buy a new house? Once you get used to performing that action and view the results, it can give you a boost in motivation.

Get Help from Friends and Family

Having someone by your side who is engaged and committed to achieving resolutions will encourage and motivate you both to succeed. A partner will also make you more accountable because there will be someone to answer to if you don’t stay on track. Just be sure to partner with someone who is truly dedicated and make a plan for actively achieving your shared goals. Someone less motivated could put a damper on your resolutions pretty quickly. If you don’t want to have to rely on a partner, consider telling a few trusted friends or family members about your goal and ask for their support. Even if they aren’t trying to achieve the goal, they can help you stay focused on yours and give you a nudge if needed.

Look for an App

Apps can be a useful tool for helping you stick to your resolutions. There are numerous apps out there that can find your resolution needs, from organization to healthy eating. Explore your options and research to see how others feel about them.

As much as we want to, it can be difficult to make a good habit stick. With some of these simple steps, you could be on your way to a successful new year.

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