How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
The beginning of a new year is when we decide to start again. We set off into January with high hopes and big ambitions.
And as we put this year behind us and look ahead to 2021, it seems more important than ever to hit the reset button and start fresh with resolutions that count. But how can we do that? What if we find it hard to follow through with the goals we set at the beginning of the year?
If you're trying to come up with resolutions that are likely to make a difference in 2021 and you want to know how to stick to them, here's a guide to help you meet those targets.
Why we make resolutions
There have been studies that look at how certain points in the calendar, and in our lives, can lead to us aiming to make a change. The new year is seen as a blank page where we can leave the past behind and focus on what's in store. As part of this, we create a list of goals, or resolutions, to achieve in the months to come.
However, it can be easy to set unrealistic goals. This is where many resolutions fall by the wayside. But by trying to stick them out, we're exercising the willpower to see it through to the end. For those who keep going, there can be a sense of accomplishment at the end. So, how to set resolutions that we're not likely to break?
1. Be realistic
If you have the same resolution each year and you've not achieved it yet, the chances are you're not likely to this year. Be honest about your resolutions and ask yourself what you want to achieve. By setting yourself a target to do something that you actually want to do, you're more likely to feel engaged.
2. Focus on one
Rather than writing a list of resolutions, narrow it down to one. This means you're less likely to spread yourself thinly and you're more focussed on the one target you want to achieve in the new year - and this means you're better placed to succeed.
For instance, if your main goal is to exercise more in 2021, make this your only resolution for the year. This gives you time to dedicate your efforts to achieving it.
3. Break it down
Think about what's doable and what you think you'll be able to manage. It's fine to begin with a general goal, but to work out how to meet the objective, breaking down how you'll do it into stages gives you a roadmap to success.
For example, if you always say you want to get better at managing your money but you don't go beyond this idea, there's a chance that your good intentions are lost by February as you've not planned how you'll do this. Creating smaller financial goals can help.
Set aside time to look at your income and outgoings, followed by your savings, then your budget. By creating a path to success, you'll be able to budget better and spread out any payments. This works well for getting fit, quitting smoking, making a career change, or any other resolution you have.
4. Get support
If you feel like you need help with your resolution, don't shy away from seeking support. Speak to friends and family if you feel like you need a boost from them. Or, if you think you need it, seek professional help. There are organisations that can help you quit smoking, for example.
5. Reward yourself
You've worked hard to meet the latest part of your resolution. You've taken up cycling or looked into the best-value savings accounts. You deserve a reward, even if it's just a cup of tea or allowing yourself an evening off.
Resolutions are designed to help you meet the targets you set for yourself. You can make 2021 the year you achieve your goals if you approach them in a positive, realistic way.