Stick It Out!

Coming up with New Year’s Resolutions is the easy part


Every year millions of people around the world compile a list of actions they want to take to better their lives for the new year. Sounds like a great plan, right? It is great to plan for the year to come, but how do you make those changes happen? As cliche as it sounds, it is easier said than done.

No matter how great you may claim to be at focusing on more than one goal or project at a time, people work best when they are assigned one task at a time. This does not mean that you should only make a single resolution for the new year, however, the expected outcome will come more easily if you ease into each resolution. Say you compile a list of resolutions such as practicing guitar daily, eating more fruits and veggies, sleeping more, doing better in school, and writing in a journal regularly. This could send an OVERLOAD message to your brain if you try to do each and every single one of them at the drop of the New Year’s ball. However, if you begin January by writing in a journal daily, and then end January by practicing guitar and writing in a journal daily, you will feel less overwhelmed. As the year goes on you can continue to complete each resolution. This makes the new year a lot less intimidating.

The resolutions you make must be attainable.  While a year is a long time, you can not complete an enormous list of changes. In order to stick to your resolutions, you must pick goals that are attainable within a year’s time. For example, becoming famous in the next year is not necessarily within your power, but taking voice lessons is within your power. Attainable behavior based resolutions are the best resolutions. We are only human. Unlike the iPhone, we can not try to complete too many tasks at once because we just crash.

Success is not all or nothing. In other words, do not give up on resolutions as soon as there is a minor setback. Although you made a resolution to write in a journal every day, if you miss one day it is better to just acknowledge that day and go back to your original plan. The plan to write in your journal every day does not have to be thrown away because of that one skipped day, or the next missed day. If writing in that journal gives you some peace of mind, continue doing what makes you a better you.  This is applicable to nearly any pattern changing behavior–exercise, healthy eating, better study skills, etc.

Talk about your resolutions. Chances are some people around you might have the same resolutions. Often, our goals are easier to accomplish when we share support from motivated peers. You can talk to friends and family whenever you are having trouble; this can help you stay on track.

Keep reminders of your resolutions everywhere–make your goals visible. Keep a note of your resolutions stored in your phone, keep the list written on the first page of your journal, even in magic marker on your bathroom mirror, and also near the resolutions themselves (near that guitar you want to practice daily).  Lastly, celebrate your successes, not just at the end of the next year but each small success as you go along!


Good luck!

New Years resolutions