by Emma Joniken

At the start of a year, a lot of people take the opportunity to make themselves some promises about how things will be different and summarise all they want to achieve. Within a few months, many will already have abandoned these resolutions, but there are ways you can make it easier for yourself to succeed! Here are some tips on how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

  • Be realistic.

It’s easy to overestimate what you can realistically do with 365 days, and it’s easy to want too much. While you don’t want to make your resolution too easy, you shouldn’t aim too high either. Want to read two hundred books in 2021? That might be a little much, and you risk burning yourself out, getting too stressed, and giving up. You might think you’ll reach for the sun and still land among the stars, but the truth is you’re probably setting yourself up for failure, which isn’t all that great for your confidence or your motivation to stay on track. Go for something smaller and more achievable instead, and give yourself the best chance of success.

  • Find your motivation.

It’s much harder to do something when you don’t know why. But a lot of times, we don’t fully understand why we want what we do. Ask yourself, why do I want to quit smoking? You want to be healthier. Then go deeper: why do I want to be healthier? Because you want to feel better, or live longer. Why do you want these things? Maybe it’s because you want the chance to have grandchildren, or travel the world when you’re retired. Get to the roots of your motivations and keep them at the forefront of your mind, reminding yourself about why you’re doing what you are. The short-term satisfaction of giving up on your resolution will seem much less tempting in comparison.

  • Plan it out.

It’s easy to say that you want to read or exercise more, but these are vague, which makes them hard to stick to. It’s confusing not to know where to begin or what to do. Make it easier for yourself by making a plan: you’ll go to the gym x amount of days a week, you’ll do these workouts, etc. Suddenly, this is something you can actually put into action.

  • Set smaller goals.

One typical resolution is to get organised. This seems like a massive thing to achieve; it’s a change to the way you live your life! Such things don’t happen all at once, and it can be very discouraging to not have reached these goals yet. The end seems far away, so you might as well not even try. Try taking it in smaller steps instead. Step one of getting organised might be to clear your desk every few days. That’s an achievement. Step two might be to plan out your diary once a week. Another milestone reached. Set yourself little goals like these, then celebrate and reward yourself once you’ve reached them. This makes it so much easier to keep going without getting overwhelmed or discouraged by your lack of progress, because it enables you to see that you actually are getting closer to your main goal.

There we have it! I hope this list was hopeful, and I wish you all a happy new year and good luck with all your resolutions!