How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Can you believe that it’s New Year’s yet again? If you’re the type to take calendar transitions seriously, you might be thinking of ways to make your New Year’s resolutions especially meaningful and impactful. You’ll then have to stick to your resolutions, which tends to prove more challenging than most people admit. Here’s how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions and embark on the new year with all your resolve intact.

Think big, but act small

Consider two of the most common New Year’s resolutions: exercising more and eating healthier. These goals are often said to be daunting, the kinds of behaviors that require such intense commitment that those considering them quickly resort to old patterns and fail at their New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that these big goals are impossible to achieve – it’s that taking big steps to complete them makes for an unrealistically sudden transition.

That’s why you should take small steps toward these lofty goals. If you’re trying to eat healthier, give yourself two to four days per week on which you can slip in ice cream or chips with your binge-watching marathon. Then, as your year progresses and avoiding junk food feels more natural, you can easily decrease the number of days per week on which you don’t eat healthily. The same goes for gym-based resolutions – commit to a modest amount of exercise early on and then expand to more as your year continues.

Keep going small

When a new year rolls around, people often talk about New Year’s resolutions – as in, more than one. If you fear that you’ll veer off course with your resolutions, then settle on one resolution instead. To again use the commonplace examples of eating healthy and working out more, you might overwhelm yourself if you try to do both right away. Choose whichever one matters more to you, gradually build toward achieving that goal, and then incorporate the other resolution later. You can wait a few months – your abilities to exercise and eat well aren’t going anywhere.

Let people know

Keeping your New Year’s resolution to yourself may seem like an innocuous choice, but studies continue to show that people fare better with the support of others. This mentality extends to New Year’s resolutions. If you let your friends and loved ones know not to greet you with savory treats or make plans at restaurants with limited healthy options, you’ll likely encounter fewer obstacles to achieving your resolution. Plus, your close friends and family members are likely to support you in whatever goals you pursue (and if they don’t, maybe it’s a sign that the relationship isn’t worth maintaining).

If you slip up, don’t give up

With New Year’s resolutions, chances are that you might slip up every now and again. That gooey chocolate brownie is hard to resist, just as is staying home instead of embarking out into the cold for a gym run. People slip up constantly – nobody is perfect – so forgive yourself for mistakes and don’t quit your resolutions when you mess up. Keep going no matter the mistakes you make, and you might just fall into a groove that makes sticking to your resolution as easy as could be.

What tips do you have for sticking to your New Year’s resolution? Sound off in the comments!

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