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4 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Jonathan Malm - December 28, 2016

The worst time to join a gym is in January. They’re packed! Everyone’s working on their New Year’s resolution of getting in shape. But then if you wait a few months, they empty out once again. That’s the time to join a gym.

Isn’t it funny that this is the way it is each year? It seems New Year’s resolutions never stick for people. No matter how well-intentioned, most people can’t seem to follow through on their life-change decisions.

I don’t think it needs to be that way. Here are a few ways you can change the way you approach your New Year’s resolutions and actually follow through on them.

1. Make a small change.

Don’t go from 0 to 100 MPH with your resolutions. That’s a recipe for failure. Instead, choose a small step of action. If you’re wanting to get healthy, start cutting sodas out of your diet and replace them with water. A small New Year’s resolution is much easier to keep, and in the long run it’ll actually do more for you than a drastic one (because it will become a life-long commitment).

2. Attach rewards to the new behavior.

What do you get if you keep your resolution? How will you reward yourself? You need to set up a system that gives you something to look forward to. And “being healthier” isn’t always enough reward. Maybe you should plan a vacation or a fun experience once you’ve finished 2 or 3 months of consistent life change. Then do it again in another 2 or 3 months. Give yourself something to look forward to and you’ll be more likely to stick with your New Year’s change.

3. Ask for invasive accountability.

Life change is tough if you go at it alone. Bring a friend into the New Year’s resolution with you. Tell them what you want to change and then give them unlimited access to your life so they can check in on the changes. Give them access to your schedule, to-do list, email, computer… Anything you need to get yourself accountable for the change.

4. Put it in your schedule or set a reminder.

The New Year’s resolution won’t always be on the top of your mind. After you’ve gone a couple of weeks through the new year, you’ll probably forget what you decided. Don’t let that happen. Set a reminder on your phone or put it on your daily/weekly schedule. Keep it in the front of your mind so it doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Your New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be destined for failure. Follow these steps and see your life actually change this next year.