Keeping a New Year’s Resolution often seems like an uphill battle. According to polling site BrainStatistic, only 8% of people who even make a New Year’s Resolution end up keeping it over the course of the next 12 months. What often seems like an adorable declaration of change often devolves into a mental marathon with many people not truly understanding that a New Year’s Resolution is meant to last the entire year and then some.
Thankfully you never have to go through any Resolution alone. Your friends and family will (most likely) support your willingness to change and want to assist you on your journey. If you’ve just made a New Year’s resolution and are afraid of backing out before without seeing it through, here are 6 ways to keep yourself on track.
1. Do Resolutions With A Group
It’s like a book club except instead of reading Oprah’s pick of the month you’re all making sure you’re keeping on track with your resolutions! Get a group together of some of your closest friends and ask them to make a resolution with you. It doesn’t need to be the same resolution as you or even as much of a committed resolution. As long as you feel like you’re a part of a team the chances of you keeping your resolution because you don’t want to let the rest of your team down will increase. It’s hard to be an army of one, and even your resolution doesn’t need to be a solo effort.
2. Keep A Journal
If you’re worried about backing out of a resolution I suggest keeping a journal to track your progress. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, writing down how you’re beginning to feel more energetic and alert will force you to go back and evaluate how many beneficial things have come from your resolution before you call it quits.
3. Manage Expectations
A large issue with many of our resolutions is we make them so complex and difficult that any rational person would struggle with following through with them. Instead of saying things like “I’m going to be single for an entire year,” allow yourself some flexibility. Mitigate expectations so you’re setting yourself up for success instead of failure by saying something more along the lines of “I will not go on a date for three months.” That way the stakes don’t seem as high and you’re more likely to follow through if you don’t set the bar too high right out of the gate.
4. Have a Concrete Accountability Person
Beyond just your group of friends, tell someone you really respect about your resolution. Maybe that person is your grandma, or mom, or even sibling but whomever you tell make sure they are checking in on you to ensure you’re following through. For my resolution of smoking I made my mom call me every day to ask if I had smoked a cigarette throughout the day. Since I respected and loved my mother so much it meant more that I was following through on my resolution for her than for anyone else. I didn’t want to disappoint her so I ended up keeping my promise.
5. Accept There Will Be Minor Set-Backs
Whenever you’re making a major change in your life like New Year’s resolutions so often are, we need to accept that there will be times where there are set-backs. We need to forgive ourselves for these set backs and keep our eyes on the prize: making a life-long change that will better ourselves. If you have a resolution and slip up a little bit, keep pushing through. Refuse to accept your failure as the dissolving of your resolution and look at it as a stumbling block.
6. Reward Yourself
It is important whenever you’re making a change in your life to celebrate your successes. If you’ve been trying to quit anything as your resolution, it is important to give back to yourself. Oftentimes we look at our resolutions as denying ourselves of something but eventually we need to readjust this mindset. In order to be successful at any resolution we need to treat ourselves to frozen yogurt or something we love every time we have a mini success.