5 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
As the year winds down, I am reminded of all the New Year’s resolutions I didn’t stick to over the year. How do I remember? Because I’ve started to create a new list for the incoming year and the resolutions are exactly the same:
- “I’ll start going to the gym.”
- “I’ll save more money for retirement.”
- “I’ll be better organized.”
While a bit embarrassed I haven’t yet adopted these good habits, it got me thinking about the ‘making New Year’s resolution’ tradition and how this year I resolve to stick to my list!
Creating resolutions is a fun tradition to ring in the New Year and should be shared with friends and family. However, the often lofty goals can easily be placed aside once the hecticness of the year starts back up again.
The sentiment of a resolution is important as it’s a way to truly invest in ourselves in the new year, and we should all treat ourselves in this way. So, here are five ways to make and stick to your New Year’s Resolutions:
Stop Thinking Big!
I don’t mean stop thinking big altogether. Great inspiration comes from big dreams. However, when it comes to incorporating new habits into our lives, small, manageable changes are the easiest to make!
For example, instead of going on an entirely new diet this year I resolve to just monitor and reduce the amount of salt in my diet.
Cutting back on snacks like chips and French fries – some of my favorites! – is something I know I can efficiently manage. Moreover, since I’m only cutting back, there’s no pressure to avoid or feel guilt eating popcorn the next time I’m at the movie theater.
No matter what your resolution is, there is probably an item or items that you can make/buy that will be a physical reminder of your resolution.
If you want to drink more water, buy a pretty water bottle. Or if you’re going to work out more, treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers! Or do you want to read more? Join a book club!
To save money in the new year, I bought myself a ‘true blue’ piggy bank. This way I’m not fussing with having to transfer money into my savings all the time. Every time I have spare change or dollars, it will go right in the piggy, which is placed in the middle of our coffee table – so we can’t possibly forget!
Use the Twelve Months to Your Advantage!
Have you ever gone to the gym in January, and the place was packed, and then go back two months later, and you have the whole place to yourself?
It makes sense to want to make these significant changes as soon as possible, but you have an entire year to incorporate them. This time next year, you won’t care if you do them in January or August because you will feel just as proud when you can say you’ve accomplished your resolution!
My goal this year is to find a work out class or group that I like by May. This means I can go to as many or as few lessons as I want to try in the meantime, and I don’t have to worry about losing momentum on snow days this winter.
Write Them Down and Put Them Where You Can See Them!
With goals and resolutions alike, there is something about the tangibility of seeing them written down on paper that makes accomplishing them that much more comfortable.
Get out a pack of Post-Its, write down your New Year’s Resolutions down and place them around the house! This way you are reminded every day of the goals you’ve set for yourself and are more willing to make room in your schedule to do them.
I’m not sure who wrote the rulebook, but it seems to me that New Year’s Resolutions are always so serious! Adding fun things to your list is a great way to ensure they are accomplished!
Want to be out in nature more? Add going to the park to your list! Want not to worry as much? Add going to the spa more! The whole point is to enhance your life for the better, and sometimes that just means to spend a bit more time pampering yourself!
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
The New Year brings with it a world of possibilities, and I believe that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to this year.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are some resolutions you’ve kept? What are some of your resolutions for this year? Let us know in the comments!
Molly Wisniewski has cared for older adults living with dementia for over ten years. She is a recent graduate of the Erickson School, UMBC where she received her M.A. in the Management of Aging Services. Her blog Upside to Aging is dedicated to sharing an alternative and more positive side to aging.