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How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions: 11 Tips

How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions: 11 Tips
Jordana Bozhinova

Jordana Bozhinova

Last updated - February 8, 2024

Promise yourself a bit more in 2024! Keep your fingers crossed for one more beginning into the better as you make this year’s final leap from 31st to 1st! And, of course, land on a New Year’s resolutions list that feels like a soft hay stock and not a stinging nettle pile.

But how do you do the last one? How do you fall into softness instead of the burning stingy? By knowing how to stick to your new goals! We’re here to share the 11 secrets of staying on top of your plans and letting your self-progress bar fill.

Why Do Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

Following through on your plans involves picking suitable resolutions (see section 1). However, many people still need help to do that, even if what they’d love to improve on sounds perfectly doable. 

For instance, the “fresh start effect” — which inspires us to engage in some self-polishing come a new year — motivates many to quit smoking, eat better, or make other standard resolutions. And yet, only a tiny portion of these folks feel like they’ve achieved their goals.

While a misstep here and there is expected, the fact that most folks fail to complete what they’ve started is a telltale sign that everyone could learn how to do this better. On the positive side, even if things don’t go smoothly, aiming for good changes is proof of personal growth. But then, knowing what to avoid when going from point A to point B is part of what turns dreams into reality.

The reasons for failing to succeed in making New Year’s resolutions stick can vary from person to person. However, the following seven traps seem to cause the biggest problem for most planners:

  • Picking a very ambitious goal.
  • Choosing a goal that isn’t aligned with your values.
  • Trying to focus on too many resolutions simultaneously.
  • Not having a solid plan for completing tasks and not knowing how to deal with the occasional failures.
  • Focusing on the final results while ignoring your daily challenges and achievements.
  • Thinking you can achieve tons quickly and getting disappointed when you don’t see results that fast.
  • Not rewarding yourself for your successes, big or small.

But you need more than knowing what might sabotage your progress to accomplish your resolutions. You must also learn how to avoid these traps and ensure your victory.

Eleven Tips to Stick to Your Goals

When doting down your goals, you must always remember that you’re trying to form new, better life patterns. In that regard, you must understand that these new ways of doing stuff are golden alternatives to bad habits that might take a while to outgrow. And that means you need to think things through before your journey begins.

To help you increase your chances for success, we decided to share some of the best tips for making your New Year’s resolutions stick. So, let’s dive into the 11 whats and hows of building your resolution-keeping stamina so you can do something better for yourself.

1. Commit to One Specific and Realistic Goal at a Time

Lots of us make the mistake of setting ambiguous, hardly achievable goals, thinking they’re realistic and well-defined. However, that’s usually not the case. For instance, you might want to spend more time in nature next year, which sounds doable. But do you know how to accomplish that? 

Sure, the thing sounds easy: you just put on your shoes and go hiking! But what about the unavoidable chores during “wilderness days”? And what day of the week will you dedicate to your expeditions? The supposed ease of execution can fool you and cause you to fail in your emerging passion, so you must plan thoroughly!

Failure is also very likely if you have too many goals to juggle. Building one new habit is demanding enough and takes time to establish, so adding more to your self-improvement plate can complicate things. So, focus on one problem or behavior at a time, and break it into chunks if it’s larger! Once your new habit strengthens, you can begin developing another one.

Finally, you must allow some room for failure. Failing can sometimes be inevitable. For example, if you’re not much of a reader, your road to finishing a few books in 2024 might be bumpy. So, plan for potential slip-ups. That can help you see your goal isn’t impossible to achieve, reducing your chance of quitting! 

2. Pick a Goal That’s Meaningful to You

If your heart is not in your New Year’s resolutions, success is not very likely. And to feel strongly about a goal, it should match your core values. Sure, operating from a place different than paying tribute to your beliefs and worldview is possible. However, doing something for the wrong reasons can quickly become tiring.

So, before climbing the mountain of your next achievement, ask yourself what motivates you to do that. You might want to reconsider your plans if you can’t feel intrinsic motivation fueling your idea. Of course, you shouldn’t mistake the feeling of unease that might arise because a task is difficult for that present when doing something meaningless.

To understand whether a goal is aligned with who you are, try analyzing it deeply. Start by asking yourself why you want to accomplish it and look into your answer. Then, deduct a “Why?” question from it. Repeat this until you understand the profound reason for your attachment to a specific goal, and you might see things more clearly.

3. Reapproach Past Goals Cleverly and New Ones Easily

If you feel like a past goal you failed to achieve keeps you from self-improvement, you might want to re-explore it. Due to the previous failure, you might feel less confident about succeeding this time. However, you choose which New Year’s resolutions deserve your attention, so if you believe this to be the year when you hit the nail on the head, go for it.

If you try to fix an old issue, analyze what your past feat led to. Was there anything that stimulated your progress? Did something obstruct your success? What could’ve helped you stick to the goal for longer? These are all critical questions.

On the other hand, new goals are sometimes more attainable if they take less effort. Often, it’s environmental and personal factors that make them seem more complex than they are. Therefore, make things easier for you! If, for example, you want to eat healthily, but the junk food store is closer to your office than the healthy food one, pack your meal at home! Know yourself and your surroundings so you can succeed.

4. Plan the Small Steps to Victory and Update Your Schedule Accordingly

Progress is a slow, everyday thing. If quitting smoking in a day was super easy, making resolutions stick wouldn’t have been so challenging. Therefore, instead of buying the modern app premise that change is possible in 15 minutes, plan the tiny steps to solidify your win.

Planning the strategy for achieving your goal isn’t to be taken lightly — if you want to make it happen, you need a detailed plan. And such a plan should outline more than just the general aspects of accomplishing something. It should contain information about how you intend to strive toward the goal at specific points in time.

Regarding New Year’s resolutions, remember that small changes accumulate over time. Their effect might be barely noticeable on a daily basis, but their impact becomes more significant over the months or years. So, plan your days, hours, and minutes. Plan your activities meticulously! Moreover, ensure your routines support your self-improvement. You want to avoid scheduling your workouts at lazy hours! 

5. Envision Yourself as an Improved You With a Different Story

Sustainable resolutions can change you for the better. Since you’re down for some self-revision, you know what about you could be a bit different. And that becomes clear when you try to describe yourself.

Have you ever introduced yourself as someone who could be more skilled in this and that? Or, maybe you’ve told someone you have a bad habit. Such descriptions often seem like a constant part of your biography. However, they aren’t. In fact, the next step in your personal growth might be rewriting them. To do this, follow the next tips:

  1. Write about the person you are, paying particular attention to what you’d like to change.
  2. Be super honest and explicit in your text; let the words paint a picture of what you do and don’t do.
  3. Edit the piece by replacing sentences about destructive behaviors with ones that reflect the better alternatives that the future, improved you would pick. Ensure you write in the present tense!

6. Integrate Your Plans With the Good Habits You Already Have

One or a few bad habits or behaviors don’t fully define who you are. That’s because they’re only part of what constitutes your Me-castle. The other part is positive habits that help you reach your potential. And when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, they can make it easier to achieve your goal.

If you aim to introduce certain transformations in your life, you can build off the good in your routine. For example, if you want to play the piano longer, add a few more minutes to your regular practice time. That way, your goal will feel more effortless to accomplish.

Alternatively, you could give habit stacking a chance. This means you can pair an old habit with one you have yet to develop. First comes the old one and then the new one. For instance, you could meditate after watching the videos of the dance lessons you’ve been taking for a long time. Your strengths can guide your self-improvement as long as you trust them.

7. Create a Motivation System to Keep Going

Trying to reach a goal seems easy during the first few days of committing to it. However, the initial hype for the process tends to decrease quickly, and thoughts about giving up start kicking in. Because of that, it’s essential to have a solid motivation strategy to help you keep pushing through even when you don’t feel like it.

Creating a list of why you want to achieve a particular goal can be handy. Whenever the challenge overwhelms you, you can read your writings and remind yourself of the value of your purpose. On the same note, visualizing the finish line and all the perks awaiting you at the end can also help you hang in there. 

Another thing that will keep you pushing forward is the support you get from your family, friends, and folks who understand your fight. Stuff like asking close ones to occasionally check on your progress or joining a group of people with the same objective is excellent for a boost in motivation. Plan for the swings in determination ahead of time, and see your New Year’s resolutions stick.

8. Don’t Quit, Even When It’s Not Your Day or Old Habits Are Kicking In

As we already mentioned, setbacks are a normal part of the process. We’re human, and as much as we’d like to walk straight from a bad habit to a good one, falling back into pre-established routines is almost inevitable. That said, you must learn to keep going in the face of mishaps.

If it’s getting increasingly challenging for you to keep following through with your plans, there must be a reason. In times like these, take a step back to reconsider your actions. Are there any changes in your strategy you could make? Will it be beneficial to reevaluate your plan? And finally, is the goal you’re trying to reach the right for you? Think about all of this, and shuffle things up if necessary.

Failure is not something to fear, but a teacher that can aid your self-improvement. Therefore, learn from it! Write about your relapses, and try to pinpoint the reason behind it. Then, see how you can decrease the chances of it happening again. Know what you’re dealing with, and you’re halfway there.

9. Keep Track of Your Progress

Your progress shouldn’t only be a vague mental picture you visualize before bedtime. You want to see how far you’ve come and how much you can do! And more than that, you want to know the details of your productivity landscape, like when you are super hardworking. Also, knowing how far you are from reaching your goal is excellent. 

Tracking your progress allows you to experience the joy of completing the everyday steps to your objective. It helps you stay dedicated to the process and inspires you to postpone quitting for another day, week, month, or year! And that’s how your New Year’s resolutions becomes a success!

To get a better idea of what your progress line looks like, use a calendar or a goal-tracking app. For instance, mark the days you complete the smaller daily goals leading to the final objective. You can even manually enter data about your everyday achievements or automatize the task whenever possible. The options are endless!

10. Make the Process Enjoyable, and Reward Yourself for Your Efforts

No one likes to do something they despise. Of course, it’d be safe to assume that your latest objective doesn’t give you the yucks. However, going through the daily highs and lows of reaching it might feel strugglesome to you. If that’s the case, think of ways to make your feat a joy to remember.

Small rewards — like a bar of chocolate after five hours of not smoking — can keep you from frowning as you try to stay on top of your goals. They work wonders, especially if they are immediate and regular. However, it would help if you pampered yourself with something you genuinely like. You don’t want a dull treat after a long day of hustling!

It’s also important to practice positive self-talk when trying to accomplish something. While not giving in to slip-ups is crucial, acknowledging your efforts and being gentle with yourself reveals the value of what you’ve already accomplished, no matter how small it might seem. Therefore, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back after a long day of objective-ing — you deserve it.

11. Be Patient With Yourself

In the end, patience is a defining aspect of your progress. And in this case, being patient doesn’t mean simply waiting for something to happen. It’s deeper than that. 

Patience is about fully understanding your objective and how it can unwrap in front of your eyes. It’s about accepting that personal growth is multi-layered and that there’s a time for each layer to come to the surface. It’s the power of navigating your New Year’s resolutions journey with such acceptance and wisdom.

You don’t need to race to the finish line; all you must do is be aware of your journey’s momentum. You need to develop a sense of the way things will develop. Tracking your progress and journaling about your successes and slip-ups can help sharpen your intuition.

Ultimately, your goal might take longer to complete. Also, some habits are life-long, so staying patient and consistent with your final objective is essential. But if you can do a little self-improvement activity today, you’re already ahead of who you were yesterday.

If You Need Some Routine-Building Practice or Cash to Kick It Off…

We know how difficult it can be. If the habit or behavior you’d like to change is ” fresh, ” you might succeed in your goal quickly. But even starting can be challenging if it’s something that has been there for a long time. But if you can give yourself the joy of living ONE day, a SINGLE day, the way you deeply think is right, or at least do something minimal in this direction, you’ve already won.

A little effort is sometimes enough to spark up your need for more. And we hope it will be today when you turn your back to distractions. We hope that you’ll wake up a little earlier today than usual. Hopefully, you’ll write the first sentence of your book today. And hopefully, you can make that minimal and quick step today, inspired by love and kindness.
In the meantime, check out our app and learn about easy opportunities with internet sharing to make some cash. Who knows — maybe completing surveys can help you understand the craft of developing routines. Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions, and may 2024 bring you all the good, healthy stuff!

Jordana Bozhinova

Jordana Bozhinova

Copywriter, Pawns.app

Once an eighth-grade chemistry whiz, Jordana is now a BA in Psychology, hoping to one day tread through the fine weave of the psyche professionally. Chemistry still excites her, but not more than physics or music. Personal growth and authenticity are always on her to-do list, and she'd like to see the world's pendulum swing in that direction, too. A fan of creativity and innovation, Jordana enjoys learning, understanding, and chic clothes. Who says self-exploration can't be fabulous?

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