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How to Make a New Year’s Resolution That Sticks

Published on , Last Updated on June 7, 2013

new year celebration

It happens to the best of us. We approach New Year’s with the best of intentions: eat better, lose weight, or get in shape. We vow to ourselves that this year, we will stick to our resolutions… but then something happens. Life intervenes, or our willpower crumbles. And before we know it, our resolutions have been broken.

Some people do actually keep their New Year’s resolutions, however, and you can too. Keep the following tips in mind, and you’ll have a better shot at making a New Year’s resolution that sticks.

1. Be Specific

All too often, our resolutions are far too vague. Don’t say, “I want to get in shape this year!” Instead, be specific and say, “I want to exercise three times a week this year, every week” or “I want to train for a half-marathon which I will complete in June.” By making specific goals and writing them down, you will have something to aim for and a much higher probability of actually completing them.

2. Make Your Resolution(s) Public

Write down your resolution in bright colors and post it in a place where you will see it every day-whether it be on your refrigerator, on a wall in your office, or on your mirror at home. Also, tell your friends and family that you’ve made a New Year’s resolution and intend on sticking to it. Making your resolution public and constantly in your mind’s eye will help give you the motivation you may need to keep to your vow.

3. Make Only One Resolution

When you make multiple resolutions — to exercise regularly, to quit smoking, to cut back on drinking soda, and to lose ten pounds — guess how many you will likely stick to? None of them! When you make too many resolutions, you will overwhelm yourself. Having just one or two resolutions will make your goals seem more realistic and reachable.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

If you find yourself struggling to get to the gym or eat right-or perform any other activity that will help you reach your resolution goal-ask for help. If your resolution was to exercise three times a week, ask one of your gym-obsessed friends to help you keep your schedule. If your resolution is to eat healthier, ask a friend who’s food-savvy to go to the store with you and help you pick out healthy but tasty foods.

These are just four tips that can help you to finally stick to your New Year’s resolution. Let’s make 2011 the year that we all keep our resolutions!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

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