New Year is a time for new beginnings! Many people use the start of a New Year as a reason to commit to change, yet within a couple of weeks after New Year, they have broken or given up on their New Year's Resolutions. Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found. One of the main reasons is because the goals that they set are too vague or too unrealistic. Goals like wanting to quickly lose 50 pounds, paying off credit card debt in a month, exercising 2 hours a day or suddenly start eating healthy foods all of the time may be difficult for people to achieve. Here are some tips that will help keep one’s New Year’s Resolution!

  • Don't make too many resolutions. Pick a realistic, attainable goal with a reasonable time frame. Pick one thing that you want to change or set one goal that you want to accomplish. Take small steps, or make small changes every day to incorporate that change into your life. 
  • Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of 2017.
  • Choose your own resolution. Make sure your goal is something that you want to accomplish for yourself and not just for friends or family. 
  • Make a plan and write it down. Plan what you'd like to accomplish in a certain period of time, like three months. Achieving small goals over time gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going. Writing your goals down is a good way to keep track of your progress. 
  • Here are more ways to plan ahead!
    • Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.
    • Anticipate problems. There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.
    • Pick a start date. You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. 
    • Go for it. On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.
    • Accept failure. If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them. For example, If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.
    • If you get off track, forgive yourself. Review your plan and make adjustments. 
    • Involve friends and family. They can support your efforts, and can motivate you to keep going.  
    • Congratulate yourself. Reward yourself when your intermediate goals or resolutions are met. 

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution in 2017? Best wishes! You can do it!