How to Achieve (Aka Stick To) Your New Year’s Resolution This year!

Shannon Cairns

December 13, 2021


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If you’re wondering how in the world you will achieve your new year’s resolution this year, or you just want some tips on how to stick to it, then this post is for you! I will give you tips to help pick a resolution, construct a plan, and even the different difficulties of some resolutions and how to prepare to combat the loss of will for your resolution that you may experience in the New Year.

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It’s crucial that you set smart goals not only for a short period of time but for the long term as well. This is why most people’s resolutions fail because they focus too much on the pressure that they put on themselves instead of creating a long, concrete objective for what they want to attain.

If you’re having trouble sticking to your resolutions for new years, now is the perfect time to start setting a goal to start a good new year for you.

Why We Make Resolutions

It’s the turn of the New Year and as the tradition goes, it is time to pick some resolutions for yourself to stick to or attempt to change in the upcoming year. You may be wondering, why do we even make resolutions? The answer is simply to improve or stop bad habits we may be showing within our lives that we may have struggled with during the past year. 

The New Year signifies a clean slate for people to reflect on the past year and possibly pick out some habits or issues that they want to improve on going into the next year. Whether you want to be healthier, save money, or declutter your space and keep it clean, there is a resolution for you and a way to stick to it! 

Resolutions give us the extra push we need to adjust our lives the way we might have been wanting to for a while. They give us an opportunity to become better versions of ourselves in the promise of the new year, whether that’s someone who pays more attention to details, spends more time with their family, or who spends less money! Anything you can think of can be turned into a resolution and with the right plan, you can stick to whichever you choose.

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How to Pick a New Year’s Resolution You Will Actually Stick To

When it comes to picking a New Year’s Resolution you want to keep your goals focused, which means instead of making twenty small resolutions that you may forget or get tired of, you should make only a few focused and goal-specific resolutions. This way you will be able to envision why you are changing this specific thing and why it is important to you as your resolution. 

So, instead of writing out a long list of healthy behaviors, you’d like to implement for the year, maybe just write out a couple of the more important and easier to achieve behaviors. If you are a notoriously bad resolution keeper then starting simple is the best way to achieve your goals

If you start with a small and simple resolution then you and your family will have an easier time adjusting and holding you accountable. As you begin actually sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, you can expand and create resolutions that may take more work.

If you don’t have that much trouble sticking to a goal but find yourself making resolutions that are a little more unachievable, then these tips will also be helpful to you! While some goals, like eating healthier and exercising, are more involved they are still focused and can be tailored to your level of commitment.

Easy New Year Resolutions To Stick To

You may be wondering how to know if your resolution qualifies as easy or challenging. Well, keep reading and that question will be answered! Easy resolutions are simple tasks that you can complete with minimal effort but will also make a change over the course of the year. 

They are the most attainable resolutions for those who struggle with keeping up their New Year’s promises as the year actually comes. These are great options for those who want to change simple things and may just need that extra push. 

Some easy resolutions are turning off your cell phone more often, limiting cell phone use when you are with friends or family, and even something as simple as flossing your teeth more regularly. An easy resolution can help to change small behaviors and set you on the right path without having to do too much micromanaging yourself throughout the year. 

These resolutions can still make big changes by curbing some annoying behaviors, like having too much screen time, or help to put your foot into a healthier lifestyle by choosing to park further away in a parking lot to get your steps in.

Medium Level New Year’s Resolutions to Achieve

Medium-level resolutions are a little more difficult to keep than easy ones and require a bit more accountability. However, on the plus side, these resolutions are usually the ones that bring about a hefty amount of change in favor of better behaviors or habits.

A resolution that is more intermediate could be something like donating the old clothes that you never wear, or going through your house and selling old toys or furniture that you and your family don’t need anymore. Another medium resolution could be to change your cleaning style, perhaps if you always find yourself cleaning, you can make the resolution to clean as you go and you can even get your family to participate as well.

Resolutions at this level require more commitment but can help you to keep up habits that will give you more peace during the year, whether by reducing clutter or just keeping a cleaning routine that the household sticks to.

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Challenging New Year’s Resolutions To Keep

Challenging New Year’s Resolutions to keep would fall into categories that change habits or addictive behaviors that have been around for a long time. These resolutions are the most challenging for a reason, as they are the hardest to stick to, need a lot of accountability, and often need more than one person to help achieve the goal. 

Challenging resolution examples could be anything from quitting smoking or drinking to changing one’s eating style from meat to vegetarian or vegan. These are larger lifestyle changes but they are also the most rewarding and often the ones that make the biggest impact on one’s health and budget. 

In terms of budgets, a challenging resolution could also be to cut out excess spending and spend more time cooking at home instead of eating out. If your family is a big culprit of these behaviors this resolution could be more difficult to stick to but in the end, it will show positive results in your wallet and in your behaviors. 

Challenging resolutions are aptly named but that does not mean they are impossible to achieve! Below we will continue to discuss how to keep up with even the most difficult resolutions.

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution No Matter What

If you want to stick to your New Year’s Resolution no matter the difficulty level, then the most important thing you will need is willpower and a willingness to change. If you pick a difficult achieve resolution you need to write down all of the pros and cons of your choice, so you can reference this when you start to lose steam for your resolution. 

Sticking to a resolution requires resolve, a want to change, and an environment that helps you to achieve your resolution goal. There are many aspects of your environment that should change to help you with your resolutions and you will need the support of your family and friends to assist in more difficult resolutions. 

If you have outside support in any form then holding yourself accountable becomes easier and soon, if you stick to the resolutions, they can become a habit just because you have continued with your planned resolution schedule. 

These steps below should help you plan out a resolution and give you additional tips on how to keep up whichever resolution you choose!

Step 1: Start with a Focused Goal

The best first step in planning a New Year’s Resolution is to start with a focused goal. This means instead of spreading your resolutions thin and doing many little things, you should condense your resolutions to just one or a small few that really encompass what you want to change for the New Year. 

By starting with a focused goal for your resolution you can keep up your resolve by reminding yourself of what it is you want to change for the better during this New Year. This attitude and drive will allow you to keep yourself on track for the year, no matter how challenging the resolution. This will also let you change something that may be a big deal in your life without having to change a million small things. 

So, instead of saying you’ll exercise more, eat healthier, ride a bike 10 miles a day, or other broader resolutions, you can focus on these and tailor them to your specific needs. So instead of saying you’ll eat healthier, you can say you will cut out fast food and try to eat more meals at home with healthier options. 

This option helps you to save money by not eating out as much and follows the healthier eating resolution by helping give you a push to eat at home where you can cook with better, healthier ingredients.

Step 2: Make a Plan

The next step is to make a plan on how to keep up with your resolution and what steps you will take to achieve your resolution’s overall goal. Making a plan could start with something as simple as, how much money you will put into savings from each paycheck, the rate at which you will put that portion into savings, and how much you hope to save at the end of the year. 

Setting standards for yourself before you begin the somewhat daunting aspect of tackling a resolution that may be difficult for you. Especially if you have chosen something like quitting smoking. In this case, you should write out how much you spend each week or month smoking, and compile this with your other list of reasons for quitting. 

Then you can begin to give yourself guidelines such as, slowly weaning yourself off of cigarettes by a certain amount each week or month. This step is all about setting the expectations and boundaries of your new resolution.

Step 3: Let Your Family Know

Family and friends are important and integral parts of our everyday lives, and we likely see them every day in some form. So, since you are likely surrounded in some capacity by friends and family it is important to let them know your resolution and discuss the plan you made to keep up with what you chose throughout the year. 

This way you can avoid the likelihood that your family or friends will inadvertently put you in situations where you may want to go against your resolution. Having your inner circle be aware of the resolution you are trying to keep will give you people to trust and help hold you accountable. While you may think it will be annoying, it will actually be far more helpful than trying to power through the resolution by yourself. 

This step also gives you the freedom to talk about any struggles or successes you are having with your resolution, which will help to keep you open and honest about your progress, which is a good thing! Your inner circle will be there to help support you and to try to keep you on the path with your resolution because they know it is something you want to change in the new year, no matter how easy or difficult the task is.  

Step 4: Hold Yourself Accountable

Step 4 is to hold yourself accountable. We discussed in the previous step that letting those in your environment know your resolution and plan is a great help and allows for others to assist in your accountability, but the majority should come from yourself. 

Holding yourself accountable is a very important step because it helps you to keep your resolve and keep an honest evaluation of how you are following your resolution plan. If you are slacking with your resolution, especially a more difficult one such as kicking a bad habit, then a setback could be detrimental if you don’t get comfortable with holding yourself accountable. 

If you slip up that is okay! What is not okay is if you slip up and count that as a total loss, which may lead you to give up entirely on the resolution. 

By holding yourself accountable you can write down what made the situation difficult, reaffirm with yourself why you are making this your resolution and how it will help you overall, and then reference your plan and create a way to get back on track. 

Keeping up with your resolution is all about perseverance and if you get good at holding yourself accountable you can increase that perseverance and the spirit of your resolution! Accountability begins with you and by sticking to your plan and not getting discouraged you can get through any level of the resolutions.

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Step 5: Adjust If You Need To

This step can be optional if you choose, but it acts as more of a safety net and a helpful way to adjust a more challenging resolution so that you don’t abandon it completely. Easier resolutions and even some medium-level difficulty resolutions may not require this step because the plan you have made may be simpler for those. 

This step would likely be used for resolutions that require saving money, quitting a bad habit, or spending more time with your family. These resolutions may seem fairly cut and dry, but as all know, life can happen in the span of a year and you never quite know what to expect. Maybe your initial money-saving goals became too much with unsuspected car repairs or medical bills, then you can adjust that goal and lower the amount of money you are putting back per your plan. 

If you have to make adjustments that are you not keeping your resolution, it is you finding a way to stick to those resolutions despite unforeseen circumstances. If quitting a bad habit such as excessive smoking or drinking was your resolution, you may have set the bar too high for yourself with something like cutting down from a pack a day to one cigarette a day. 

If your plan did not factor in any sort of time to wean down your intake then you will find it very hard to keep up a difficult resolution like that, but you can absolutely still feel accomplished with your resolution by adjusting your plan for a situation like this. Quitting a bad habit is very difficult and you should prepare as just as necessary while still sticking to your self-made promise. 

While you may find adjusting your plan to be a discouragement along the road to changing a habit for the new year, I can assure you it is not. This shows you have the personal knowledge of yourself and accountability to still keep pushing towards your goal despite any setbacks.

Step 6: Be Okay with Setbacks

Continuing off of the previous step, it is okay to have setbacks! There are so many things that could happen during the new year to knock you off your resolution horse, but if you keep getting back up then that shows you are sticking to it! 

Being okay with setbacks is one of the most important steps in the process of keeping up a resolution. This is because you have to give yourself enough room to fail so that you can actually push through and succeed. The process won’t be perfect and if you are okay with that then you have a much better chance of pushing through and keeping up your resolution, even if it is especially difficult. 

Nothing in life usually goes to plan, so why should a new year’s resolution be any different. The most important part of a resolution is not to stress yourself out or beat yourself up about this particular choice all year, but it is to improve yourself using the new year as a clean slate. 

So, the last step is to essentially be kind to yourself through the new year and by doing so, learn something about yourself and your ability to adapt and still stick to a plan. If you follow these tips, there’s no resolution that would be beyond your reach.

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Set yourself up for success with a resolution you know you will stick to!

Resolutions are a traditional part of bringing in the New Year, but they can also be stressful to keep up with and if you aren’t doing it perfectly you may feel discouraged. The important part of a resolution is picking one that you know you will have the willpower and want to change. Pick something that is important to you and has many pros for keeping it up throughout the year.

You want to pick a resolution that you can look back on and be proud of, but also something you know you can stick to! Whether it’s easy, medium, or challenging, these steps will help put you on the right track to finally achieve any resolution that is important to you! 

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hi! I'm shannon

I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.