New Year’s resolutions: easy to make, but hard to keep. We’ve all been there — ambitiously creating a long list of goals and achievements that we want to make by the end of the year, only to give up a few weeks into the year and revert back to what we were doing before. If you want your resolutions to actually stick this year, here are a few ideas to keep in mind and some tricks to keep the more common resolutions.

Think Small

If you have a large goal that you want to achieve, you should try to set smaller goals within it to make the goal more achievable. If you only focus on your large goal, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. Big goals take time, so if you want the hit of happiness that comes with achieving a goal to sustain you, you should try to focus on the steps that will get you to that big goal.

If your New Years’ resolution is to start a blog, you can make smaller goals such as designing it the way you want it to be, creating your first posts, enacting some anti-hacker measures since there is a hacking attack every 39 seconds, and then actually launching the blog. After your blog goes live, you can make goals like getting a certain number of email list subscribers or a certain number of posts that you want to put up every week. Small goals are much more achievable, and they will add up over time to large goals.

Create Measurable Goals and an Action Plan

If you make a general goal that you can’t measure and don’t make small steps to work towards achieving it, it can be very easy to lose your motivation. If you don’t know what kind of results to expect, you can’t really see them. Instead, make sure that there’s an easy way to measure your goals, and create a direct action plan to achieve the small steps mentioned in the last tip.

For example, if your original fitness goal was just to get in shape, you could change that goal to being able to run for 20 minutes straight. You can easily measure this by seeing how long you can run at the start of the year, and there are many training plans out there that can help you increase your endurance.

If you want to get better at playing the guitar, make sure that you set measurable goals such as learning more difficult chords or chord progressions, learning a specific guitar solo, or trying to write your own music. All of these smaller goals fall under the umbrella of getting better at guitar, but they are more measurable than a general statement about getting “better” at the instrument.

Having a goal without a plan is like having a pen with no ink — the idea is there but the execution isn’t. Creating a plan will refill that ink cartridge and put you on your way towards writing a checkmark next to your New Years’ resolutions.

Find Other People With Similar Goals

If you find people who have a similar goal to you, you can mutually motivate each other and work through any struggles you have together. It’s always easier to get over a roadblock when you have someone to hoist you over the barrier. It can also help with holding you accountable to continue working towards your goal.

If your goal is to retire earlier than the average age of 63, you should look for others who share that goal. If you have coworkers that feel the same, that’s a good way to start since they’ll be in a similar position to you. There are online communities centred around sharing tips and tricks for retiring early, so you can also join those to help you discover new ways to help you towards your goal.

Think of Your “Why”

If you reflect on why you want to achieve a goal and not just the need to achieve it, it’s easier to keep up with your goal. If you have a weak “why” and don’t really want to do something, you probably won’t stick with your New Years’ resolution. If you’re just doing something because you feel like you should do it, you probably will lose motivation pretty quickly.

If your New Years’ resolution is to save money, think about why you actually want to. Is it because you spent too much over the holidays and you want to avoid going into debt? Is it because you want to save up for a vacation? Are you trying to save up for a house? Whatever your why is, make sure that you think about that every time you do something to save money.

If your goal is to be more eco-friendly, you have a multitude of “whys” to think about. The environment suffers constantly, so having a why is easy to find. You may have to spend money to have a more eco-friendly life, like fixing your AC in order to have it work as effectively as possible. A problem with one part of your AC system makes the entire system work harder and takes up more energy than if it was running efficiently. However, in the long run, you would be helping the environment and your wallet. Having the “why” of helping the environment can make the cost of a repair feel easier to deal with.

Believe in Yourself

You will inevitably hit a setback at some point in the journey of trying to achieve your New Years’ resolution. However, that doesn’t mean that you have failed. There will always be setbacks, but falling back onto a belief that you can achieve anything you set your mind to is a great way to make sure that setback is not a total derailment.

No matter what your resolutions are for the upcoming year, you can achieve them with these tips.

What are your resolutions? Did you achieve your resolutions from last year? Let us know in the comments!