How to follow through with your resolutions in 2017

We all do it, we all laugh at ourselves for it, but we all keep doing it.  Every year, a lot of us make resolutions, only to end up breaking them early on in the year.  My friends and I got so sick of this cycle a few years ago, that we started taking matters into our own hands to ensure we were following through with the goals we set.

Here are some tips for following through with your resolutions in 2017.

1. Own the resolutions

A lot of people say resolutions are silly.  But if they’re important to you, then they aren’t silly at all.  Own those goals you set for yourself.  Firstly, you set some goals, good for you!  But now, take them seriously.  Hold yourself accountable for them.  My trick is sharing them with my friends and family.  I tell them about my resolutions, and how I plan on attaining them.  By putting those goals out in the open, you know you will feel guiltier if they aren’t attained because people might ask you about them.

2. Write it down

This one might seem obvious, but anything written down will seem more concrete and real.  I have a notebook in which, at the end of every year, not only do I write a recap of my year but I also write a recap of whether or not I attained my goals for that year.  For example, at the end of 2016, I wrote a few pages reflecting on my year.  Then, I wrote I was proud because I visited a new country, and that was one of my goals.  However, I acknowledged that I didn’t run that half-marathon I was supposed to run.  Then I reflected on the reasons why I didn’t run it.  Was it because I didn’t have time for it?  Or did I just not want it badly enough?  If the answer would have been that I didn’t want to do it that badly, I wouldn’t have put it on my resolution list for 2017, but I do.  Therefore, the half marathon is back on my resolution list for 2017!  This way, you’re really reflecting on your goals and resolutions

3. Involve friends

At my friends’ New Year’s Eve party at the end of 2015, we put a few of our resolutions down on paper, rolled them up, and shoved them in an empty champagne bottle.  We read the resolutions together the next year, and were amazed that a lot of the resolutions were fulfilled!  Of course, some never are, and it makes for some good laughs.

4. Small goals are good goals

I think a big reason so many resolutions fail, is because people go overboard on them.  There’s nothing wrong with small resolutions.  Something as simple as buying less takeout coffee, or cutting screen time by a few hours a day can be a big change or good first step for some people.  I think it’s important to stay focused on resolutions that ring true to you, and not get wrapped up in the overwhelming resolution lists of celebrities who make millions of dollars a year.  (It’s ok if you don’t visit four new countries this year.)

Make the resolutions your own, share them, and have fun with them.  Tracking resolutions, in my experience, is healthy for self-growth.  Happy progressing!