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Seven Tips to Help Keep New Year’s Resolutions

As the middle of January just passed, many New Year’s resolutions are about to reach their expiration date. Whether it was to stop eating a diet of strictly junk food (pizza is a vegetable right?), or to finally use that gym membership you keep paying for, your resolve may be fading. According to research, about 58.4 percent of resolutions make it past the first month, while only 68.4 percent make it past the first two weeks. While many resolutions appear to survive under these numbers, only 9.2 percent of people felt like they were successful in achieving their resolution. If you want to be in that 9.2 percent, read on for some tips to help keep that pesky New Year’s resolution.

1. Pick one specific resolution

One is better than none! Start with one resolution and see where it goes. While it may be tempting to follow the “new year, new me” mentality and change everything you don’t like about yourself, don’t. It’s easier and less stressful to implement one change in your life at a time. So instead of choosing to “eat better” and “meet new people outside my dorm,” focus on one to start and if you think you’ve met your goal, then add on another. Stick to one specific goal at a time.

2. Plan it out

As someone who usually identifies as organized, I like to map out my day in a paper planner and on iCalendar. A visual reminder of your resolution is helpful and can really motivate you to stick with it. At the beginning of 2017, I found a 6-week workout program online for a 10K that I am training for. In my iCalendar, I put the name of the specific workout as an event for the day, so I would wake up in the morning and have a visual reminder of what I had to do. Planning it out can also make you feel more proud when you look back and see how far you’ve come from the beginning of 2017.

3. Create a specific end target and don’t forget to set goals along the way

An end target can be one of the most effective motivators, but it should be specific and tailored to you. It can be anything from wanting abs like Jillian Michaels to finding two new friends by the end of the year, but it should be specific. If an end goal seems too far away for you, set some goals that you know you can achieve along the way. Resolutions should inspire change and be positive and achieving goals is the best way to do that.

4. Some commitment is better than nothing!

It’s hard sometimes to stay on track with your resolutions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes you need a break or a cheat day, and that’s totally normal, but don’t let it get too crazy. If you want to have a milkshake, go for it! But don’t have the french fries too. Try to stay true to your resolution in any way you can, some commitment to it is better than giving up all together.

5. Don’t forget to celebrate the small victories

Every day following your resolution is another step towards your end goal and another small victory. So, celebrate every day you follow the resolution, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re being “dedicated enough.” When I first started running, I had to tell myself that every run is a good run, even if it didn’t feel that way. Celebrating the small victories will keep you on the right track and motivated to continue. Following your resolution should be a positive experience and celebrating the small victories is the way to do that.

6. Share your resolution with your friends and family

Friends and family make the best personal cheerleaders through the ups and downs of a New Year’s resolution. My mom is always the first person I text after a particularly good or bad run. She’s always there to offer moral support and encouragement when I need it. It’s also more fun! Trips to the gym and grocery store are always more interesting with a buddy, who can also be someone there to help be responsible and track your goals.

7. If you fall off the wagon, don’t be afraid to get back on!

As Hannah Montana would say, “Nobody’s Perfect! /I gotta work it! /Again and again ‘til I get it right.” This should be the mantra for all New Year’s resolutions. If you do end up losing all motivation to follow your resolution, feel free to take some time but don’t be afraid to try again! A resolution should not be something that can be broken once and then is over for the rest of the year. Just follow my girl Hannah’s advice and your resolution can become a reality.

Cover Photo credit


Freshman Medill student at Northwestern University 
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