5 Ways to Keep Your Resolutions Going Strong

A new year means new resolutions, but what happens to those goals around February? Most likely they’ve slowly been discarded for the more comfortable habits of the past. Don’t beat yourself up about it, however, because you are not alone. A study by Dr. Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton, found that only 64% of those who make resolutions keep them past the first month, with only 8% accomplishing their goal for the year. The question is; what do those 8% do differently to be successful in their goals? Try these 5 ways:

  1. Set short-term goals for the long-term goals.  By breaking your larger goals into smaller, more easily achieved goals, you are less likely to get discouraged. The large goal may seem daunting or unachievable, while the smaller one is doable and easier to keep.
  2. Schedule time for your resolution. Life is busy and it seems to only get busier and that’s why you need to make time for your goals. If it’s scheduled into your day you’re more likely to actually stick with it instead of letting it slip by. You can even put an alert into your phone or calendar to help you remember. The bottom line is that if you don’t make time, it won’t get done.
  3. Employ the buddy system. Everything is better with a buddy and resolutions are no different. Friends not only make the activity more enjoyable but they also help keep you accountable. Want to stay in bed instead of hit the gym? Not with your friend knocking on your door.
  4. Make your resolution something you can control. Sometimes we get so caught up in the end result that when we don’t see it we get discouraged and give up. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds. That’s an awesome goal but you have no control over that number. You do, however, have control over the steps you can take to decrease that number. A better focused goal would be to walk for at least 30 minutes a day or strength train 3 days a week. These things you can physically control and therefore accomplish.
  5. Get back up when you fall off the wagon. A slip-up does not automatically ruin a resolution. Just because you ate that extra piece of cake or skipped a day at the gym doesn’t mean you should give up altogether. If your goal were really easy there’d be no need to work on it. Recognize that it’s going to be hard but that you can do it. Forgive yourself, move on, and keep trying.

Kelsey Sheron NASM CPT, WLS

This article was published in Healthy You, the monthly online newsletter from UK Health & Wellness.