How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions, for real this time!

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Remember how you felt at the beginning of the year? Maybe you were one of the many people with a list of resolutions, ready to conquer them with zeal. According to a study by the University of Scranton, only 19% of people achieve their new year’s resolutions. And, a quarter of people who make resolutions quit after only two weeks. 


But don’t worry! Even if you had a slip-up already, there’s still 11 months left of 2020. We’ve culminated a few tips to help keep you on track with your resolutions. 



Rewrite Your Resolutions as Specific Goals


One of the main reasons people fail at keeping resolutions is because they are often too broad, vague or idealistic. For example, a common resolution is “to get healthier.” But what does that actually mean? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Do you want to eat more vegetables? Do you want to train for a marathon?


To really make your resolution stick, you have to create concrete goals that are specific and measurable. Transform your resolutions into SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Once you create these detailed guidelines, it’ll set you up to reach your goals. 


So, let’s go back to the “get healthier” resolution. As a SMART goal it should look something like this:

“I want to become healthier by working out three times a week. I also want to transition my meals to include more vegetables and less sweets. By the end of the year I want to lose a total of 15 pounds.”


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Set Smaller Steps to Reach Your Goal


Now that your resolutions have transformed into SMART goals, you’ll need to create a process to reach those goals. I’m talking deadlines, scheduling, writing down a plan – the whole nine yards! You can create seasonal, monthly or even weekly goals to help get you there.


Let’s say your new year’s resolution is to run a marathon in 2020. One marathon equates to roughly 26 miles. On the surface, 26 miles seems incredibly daunting. But if you break it up into smaller steps, you’ll be running that marathon in no time. 


Here’s how you could break it down:

End of March: Be able to run 6.5 miles in one stint

End of June: Run 13 miles which equates to a half marathon

End of September: Be able to run 19.5 miles

End of December: Run a full marathon totaling 26 miles


Running 6.5 miles seems a lot more doable than 26. Although thinking big picture can be helpful, sometimes you just need to focus on taking the first step.


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Don’t Give Up


Sometimes going easy on yourself can be a hard thing to do – especially if you’re a perfectionist. You may want to give up after binge eating three donuts and a chocolate bar. But we have some good news…just because you slip up once doesn’t mean you’ve failed! You can still get back on the road to resolutions. Even if Monday has passed, you can still get back on track on a Tuesday – or even a Friday! 


We’re all human. Sometimes we do need to indulge in sweets or splurge on Amazon. Just make sure that after your detour, you go back to making progress on your resolutions. Don’t let your slip-up become an ongoing pattern. Find things that motivate you. Think about the Christmas vacation you’re saving up for or the weight you’ve lost so far and keep moving forward. 


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Find People to Keep You Accountable


There’s this temptation to keep our resolutions private in case we mess up and fail. However, leaning on your friends and family for support can be a valuable resource. Let your loved ones know what your resolutions are and ask them to keep you accountable.


It’s also very helpful to join some kind of community for your resolutions. For example, if your resolution is to exercise five times a week, try joining a workout group in your neighborhood. You could also challenge your friends to join in on the resolution with you. Or, if your resolution is to read more, you can join a local book club or even host one yourself. Having that extra layer of support will help motivate you on your journey.



Change Your Outlook 


It’s all about perspective. If we view our resolutions as a finish-line, it may feel like a distant dream. Instead of viewing your resolution as a single destination, try to think about your resolutions as a new lifestyle. It’s a process of ongoing change and change takes time. It won’t be an overnight success. It’ll take a lot of willpower and endurance.


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Don’t forget to celebrate the little victories! Instead of getting discouraged over a few slip-ups, be proud of the progress you’ve made so far. And if you haven’t made any resolutions this year – it’s not too late to start! Just remember to make smart resolutions with tangible steps.




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