Millions of New Year’s resolutions are made each year, but only a few of them are actually kept. According to Statistic Brain, 73% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are able to maintain them for over a week, but only 35% of people are able to maintain them past 6 months. Do you want to be a part of that lucky 35%? Take a look at these tips and tricks so that you can achieve your goals this year.
Set attainable goals
Firstly, you need to make sure your goals are attainable. This means that your goals should be something you can actually achieve because you want to do it and you have the time and the means to do it. Let’s say your goal is to exercise more and do more sports. You decide to join a basketball club, but it’s 30 minutes away from your house and the practices are from 7pm-9pm daily. This is not an attainable goal; you need time to do your homework, and taking away 2 hours of time from your already busy schedule is a huge change. Plus, the 1 hour you need to get there and back has an even bigger impact.
A more attainable goal is to start playing basketball at your house for 30 minutes every day, or going out with your friends in the weekend so you can all play together. Then, in the future, you can also consider joining a basketball club that is nearer to your house, and one that has 2-3 practices a week.
It’s very important to not just jump into your New Year’s resolution. Once you start slow, it helps you to be more excited to continue; this is because you can actually achieve what you set out to do, then gradually add more work. For example, if you want to start going to the gym and your goal is to go 4 times a week for one hour, you shouldn’t try to do it immediately, especially if you haven’t been going regularly to the gym in the past. This will make it very hard to just start going 4 times a week and to be fully concentrated each time.
You should start by going once a week so you don’t get too tired or start wanting to quit. You should build up your goal by going once a week for a month, going two times a week for the next month, and so on. Going with a friend could also really help, as they can encourage and help keep you concentrated.
Get a Goal Buddy
Instead of starting your New Year’s resolution alone, you could start it with a friend. If you both have the same goal in mind, you can work together to achieve it; such as checking in with each other regularly to make sure you are still working towards your goals, and helping one another if you make mistakes. For example, let’s say your New Year’s Resolution is to stop drinking soda (like Coca-Cola, Fanta, or Sprite). You and your goal buddy are going to the movies, but you want to get a popcorn and a Coke, and your goal buddy can be the one to remind you to get a water instead.
However, if you don’t want to start a goal with someone, you can still ask a friend to help you stay on track with your goal. That way, even without a goal buddy, you still have someone to check in on you and make sure you don’t “cheat.” This specific tip worked great for 9th grader Jo. “I asked one of my best friends to help me stay on track (meaning to literally yell at me when I messed up),” she says. “She motivated me, kept me accountable, and reminded me every day to stay strong.”
Turn one big goal into little goals
When you start your year, don’t just be motivated for the first few weeks and then give up. “Making little goals on the way to your big goal is the way to keep resolutions,” 9th grader Naomi says. For example, maybe your goal is to cut carbs out of your diet completely. However, you’re used to eating junk food every day; you normally eat a whole pizza every week, and a chocolate bar every day.
In this case, a smaller goal would be to try eating pizza every 2 or 3 weeks and to try limiting yourself to only 3 chocolate bars a week. If you pick small goals to start with, it will be easier to reach them, and then you will be much more likely to achieve your future goals. What’s more, every time you achieve one of the smaller goals, you will feel even more inspired to finally reach your major goal.
If you’re a busy person, it’s easy to forget about your goal or the little tasks you set for yourself in order to work towards your final goal. That’s why it’s best to have visual reminders of your goals; ones that you can see every day. Good places to have these reminders are the following: on the fridge, your desk, your laptop, or your phone. You can also set inspirational quotes relating to your goal as a phone background, or set a reminder on your phone. These are just a few of many other physical reminders for your New Year’s resolutions.
Find a reward system that suits you best
“I always reward myself for things I accomplished,” 9th grader Cristina claims. “The reward can be as simple as some me time—like eating some chocolate cake, or watching a movie I want to watch, maybe even buying new make-up or a handbag.” Let’s say your goal is to stop watching so many movies and start reading more books. A reward system could be that for every book you read, you get to watch a movie. For the next week, you could change that to every 2 books, and the week after, every 3 books. The reward system is a great way to keep yourself motivated and to actually see the progress you are making.
I hope these tips help you keep your New Year’s Resolution this year. Whether you use one tip or all of them, I’m sure they will make a big difference. Good luck achieving your goal this year!