There’s a reason why New Year’s resolutions are so popular—the end of one cycle and the beginning of another is the most natural time for reflection. With the advantage of hindsight, you can look back over your year and see which accomplishments you made, which plans fell through, and how the surprises that came your way shaped your path. Then, you can be a better judge of what things you’d like to improve on throughout the coming year, and resolve to do so.
However, when making New Year’s resolutions, people often encounter two common problems. First, they may struggle to articulate what their exact resolution should be. For example, lots of people resolve to be healthier in the New Year, but that’s not a very specific goal. Second, roughly 80% of people struggle to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks.
When it comes to making positive changes for the New Year, half the battle is just picking an aspect of your daily life to work on. Here are a few popular categories:
make new friends
When it comes to Saving Money, there are two ways to approach this kind of resolution: doing something and not doing something. Doing something could be as simple as collecting your spare change in a jar, or it could mean putting a percentage of your pay check into a new savings account for your kids’ college fund. Not doing something could look like bringing coffee to work instead of going to the café on your break, or resolving not to order takeout more than once per week.
With many finding it difficult to stick to their resolution, we have also crafted some key points on how to stick to your resolutions.
Here’s how you can avoid that:
Be specific — Let’s say your resolution is to lose weight. You can break down that larger goal into smaller components, like eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal, or cutting back harmful habits like drinking to only once a week. The more specific, the better. For example, you could resolve to do 30 minutes of yoga at 7:30 a.m. every day before work. This is a more process-oriented approach that’s not as overwhelming as obsessing over a final product.
Be measurable — If your goal is to read more, that’s great, but how much is more? How will you know when you’ve arrived at more? Incorporating measurable steps into your overall resolution is key. You could make a time-based plan where you start with only 10 minutes of reading per night for a week, then increase that amount by 5 minutes every week until you’re at 30 minutes or an hour.
Be achievable — It’s important that you have realistic expectations for your resolutions. It’s much harder to feel motivated to work on a challenge that seems insurmountable. For example, your goal shouldn’t be to become fluent in another language by next year. Simply turning your focus from “becoming fluent” to “practicing Spanish on Duolingo for 15 minutes per night” will do wonders for your motivation.
Be accountable — Having a mutual support system with a community of people who share your goals is the best way to stay on track and keep progressing. Meetup can help you find a group of like-minded folks to support your resolutions, whether you want to get out and walk more in Central Park, learn how to knit at the best coffee shops in Denver, or simply connect with fun people your age and explore Chicago.