It’s the new year, and to welcome it, perhaps you’ve already made plans to lose weight, change a bad habit, or do many other things to improve your physical, mental, and psychological well-being—as many people are accustomed to do when the calendar turns. But if you’ve been doing this every year, you probably know by now that it’s one thing to set goals, and it’s another thing to accomplish them. However, you don’t have to lose heart. Even if you will practically make many of the same New Year’s resolutions come January, your mere desire to change for the better is already an essential first step in the right direction. 

To continue moving forward and to really keep your resolutions, however, entails more effort. If you want to increase the likelihood of achieving your goals this time around, you may want to approach the matter a bit differently. After all, you can’t expect a new outcome if you keep doing the same things. To help you out, here are practical tips that you may want to consider to make your New Year’s resolutions stick. 


Create Concrete and Realistic Goals

One of the most effective ways to improve your chances of keeping your resolutions is to break them down into concrete, realistic goals. That way, you know exactly what you want to attain and can readily make plans to accomplish them. For instance, if you want to “stay healthy,” consider going a little less ambiguous and more specific. In the face of the current global health situation, for example, it would help if you make more concrete, granular plans, like “I’ll continue wearing face masks,” “I’m going to get vaccinated,” “I’ll make sure to exercise regularly,” “I’ll eat healthier foods,” and “I’ll take my vitamins every day.”  By doing this, you can readily conceptualize your goals and take necessary supportive and proactive actions, like shopping antimicrobial face masks, creating healthier meal plans, plotting out a daily exercise regimen, and more.


Avoid Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

It is easy to get carried away as you list down your New Year’s resolutions because the thought of self-improvement can be exciting. However, you are most likely setting yourself up for failure if you take on too much all at once. Remember, behavior change takes a lot of time and effort, so you may want to set a limit on your goals. Consider coming up with just a handful of resolutions and concentrate all your energies on achieving them. 


Remember Your Reason

As you ponder your resolutions, think about your reasons why you want to make them. Let’s say you want to shed ten pounds in the next six months. Ask yourself why this goal is important to you. Perhaps you have a medical condition that can worsen if you fail to lose weight. Or maybe you want to feel more confident facing clients or giving presentations at work. Whatever your reason is, make sure to keep this in mind as it will serve as your driving force—especially during tough times. Whenever you are tempted to skip an exercise, eat that extra dessert, or quit altogether, remind yourself of your “why” to get that much-needed motivation to stay on track.


Learn from Your Mistakes

Sure, you probably failed to achieve several New Year’s resolutions in the past, but that doesn’t mean that you have to forget about them entirely. You may not realize it, but all your attempts to change offer valuable lessons if you look at them closely. As such, take the time to evaluate your strategies and see what areas need work. Maybe your goal is too unrealistic, like never eating fast food ever again. If so, try to make your resolution more reasonable this time around. You can also break your goal down into small actionable steps. For instance, you can limit your fast food meals to at least once a week. You can also aim to prep your meals during off days so you have home-cooked food that you can readily pop into the microwave to avoid eating out.


Be Kind to Yourself

It takes consistent and conscious effort to achieve positive changes. They don’t happen overnight. That is why you should be patient. If you make a misstep, don’t beat yourself up. Self-blame will get you nowhere. Begin again and continue moving forward, even if it means treading slowly. Remember to be your own cheerleader. Encourage yourself to persevere by celebrating every small victory and patting yourself on the back. More importantly, focus on your journey and avoid falling into the trap of comparing yourself to others.


Monitor Your Progress

It is easy to lose sight of your goals as time passes by. As such, it is crucial that you monitor your progress to keep the enthusiasm burning and continue advancing in the right direction. You can use apps, charts, journals, or other means that can help you visualize your improvement. For instance, if your goal is to reach your desired body weight within a year, you can take photos of yourself wearing the same outfit every two weeks. Keep your pictures on file so you can readily look at them and see how far you have come. Visual reminders are also helpful in lifting your spirit whenever you feel discouraged or hit a few bumps in your journey.


Sticking to your New Year’s resolution is not something that happens automatically. If you’ve tried making them in years past, you’ll know by now that the process requires careful attention right from the get go. Besides setting the right goals, you must plan how to go about it and employ different strategies to keep yourself focused, committed, and motivated. Keep these things in mind as you work on your resolutions this coming year, and you will most likely experience rewarding results.