New year, new you? If you’re like most of us, you’ve set at least one goal for yourself to achieve in 2017.
But did you know that on average, less than 50% of New Year’s resolutions are still kept six months into the year? The good news is there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of sticking to your goals this year.
Here are some of our favorites:
Make It Personal.
It might be tempting to join in on your friends’ resolutions, but the best way to set goals you’re likely to keep is to tailor them to your specific needs. Think about what you would have wanted to change in 2016 to help inspire your resolutions for the New Year. Do you wish you’d spent more time making memories with friends, studied better or traveled more? Make those goals your resolutions, rather than borrowing from the people around you.
Write It Down.
It’s easy to keep your resolutions top of mind in January, but as the year goes on and life gets busier, it may be harder to remember exactly what it is you wanted to do in 2017. Avoid abandoning your resolutions halfway through the year by writing them down and keeping the list somewhere visible, like on your desk or bathroom mirror. Then set aside time at the end of each month to evaluate your progress on each one.
Focus on the Positive.
Making resolutions is a great way to motivate yourself to cut out bad habits. But research shows you’re more likely to successfully create change if you focus on the positive rather than the negative aspects of each goal. For example, instead of resolving to cut out junk food, make eating healthier meals a priority. Or, plan to schedule more time outdoors instead of simply spending less time on your smartphone.
Less = More.
You might be tempted to start off the year with an ambitiously long list of resolutions. But just because a new year has started doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to make changes in every area of your life at once. Instead, choose just a few areas to focus on in 2017 — ideally no more than five. If you manage to accomplish everything on your list before the year is over, you can always add new goals for the rest of 2017.
Enlist Accountability Partners.
Accomplishing a goal is always easier when you’ve got someone cheering you on from the sidelines. Don’t be afraid to tell others what you’re trying to do —share your resolutions with close friends or family members who will keep you accountable throughout the year and motivate you when you’re feeling ready to quit.
Broad resolutions like “exercise more” or “travel the world” may sound good on paper, but if you don’t have a specific action plan for each one, you’re less likely to accomplish them. For each resolution you make, set appointments or create a schedule to keep yourself on track throughout the year.
Use Technology to Your Advantage.
Did you know one of the most useful tools to help you stick to your resolutions could be your smartphone? Set up daily or weekly reminders for your action plans on your calendar or track your progress through apps like Habitica (iOS | Android) or StickK (iOS | Android). You can even use social media for motivation by following accounts on Instagram or Twitter related to each of your goals.
As long as you keep these tips in mind as you make your resolutions, we’re sure 2017 is going to be a good one.
By Priscilla Aceves