Secrets to Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

"New year, new me" is a common motto when January rolls around, but how much really changes? People always vow to be better at the start of the year but fall back into their old habits once spring break rolls around.

I was so tired of that routine, so I set out to break that habit. For the past three years, I have successfully carried out my New Year's resolution. Here's my secret to how I do it.

  1. 1. Be Specific

    "Be healthier" and "be a better person" are two common resolutions. They're great resolutions to have, but the problem with them is that they're so general. You could go about doing these things, but you have nothing to measure, and there's nothing to really compare it to.

    That's why it's important to be specific with what you want your resolution to be. For example, let's break down the health resolution. What does being healthy look like? Is it going to the gym more? Is it eating out less? Does it mean achieving a certain weight? Notice that the questions are specific in identifying your goal.

  2. 2. Come Up With a Plan

    You've picked your ideal destination. How do you plan on getting there? You're not going to be able to blink and just have it happen. There's work to put in, and you have to figure out the best way to accomplish that.

    Let's go back to achieving and maintaining an ideal weight. If my goal was to lose 20 pounds, the plan I would come up with would involve limiting the amount of times I eat out to twice a week, I would perform cardio exercises for 30 minutes four times a week, and then I would probably try a diet of some kind. Breaking down the goal of the resolution like this makes the resolution seem much more achievable.

  3. 3. Commit to Yourself

    Addicts lose their sobriety chip if they take a small drink. Keeping a resolution is kind of like that. Unless it's building into your plan, there are no cheat days.

    The thing about a resolution is that you chose this. You looked at yourself and your life and said, "This is the change I want to see." If that's true, then why wouldn't you dedicate yourself to it? By only investing half of yourself or giving yourself passes, the only true accomplishment of a cheat day is that you're cheating yourself.

  4. 4. Be Realistic

    One of the struggles with keeping a resolution is choosing one that's unrealistic. The best way to determine that is to go back to step two. Are you stuck there? If you are, come up with a plan for how you're going to accomplish your resolution.

These are my secrets for keeping a New Year's resolution. As we ring in the new decade with 2020, I hope that you are starting the decade out strong by committing to your resolution and, overall, committing to yourself.

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