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How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions Past the First Month

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

Every year on January 1st, the (ironically) old mantra of “New Year, New Me” starts rolling across TV, computer, and phone screens alike. People get motivated by the concept of “starting over,” and often do a overhaul of their whole life, making resolutions left and right only to drop those resolutions on Week 2.

I admit, I’m not immune to this trend. Every year, there is something that I say I’ll do that I inevitably give up on. This year, though, I’m committing, and I’m going to give you three easy ways to make sure you commit, too.

Keep your resolutions bite-sized.

And by “bite-sized,” I mean manageable. So many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions because they try to do too much too quickly. Their goals are far too ambitious. What ends up looking like a great idea at midnight on December 31st may not look so hot at 8:00am on January. Instead of going for resolutions that completely upend your world, make small changes that can eventually lead into bigger ones.

Some examples would be:

  • “Move my body 3 times a week” instead of “Lose 30 lbs in January.”
  • “Set aside 10 minutes every day for my hobbies” instead of “Create 3 new art pieces a week.”
  • “Try something new each month” instead of “Go to a new state every month.”
Give Yourself permission to start anytime.

At least for me personally, I get caught up in the thought that if I don’t start my New Year’s resolution on January 1st, it’s no longer valid. Don’t fall into this trap! If you start your resolution in the new year, then it is by definition a New Year’s Resolution™. It doesn’t matter if you start on January 1st or January 15th, your New Year’s resolution counts!

P.S. This includes falling off the resolution bandwagon and picking back up a week/a month/a few months later.

Make resolutions you’ll actually enjoy.

Yes, this means not falling victim to the millions of ads that release at 12:01am on January 1st promoting “weight loss” this and “fat burn” that. First of all, just because you lose 20 lbs does not mean you’ll be any happier or healthier than you were before (I could write an entire essay on that, but I’ll just stick to the caveat that you deserve to eat and you need to eat for right now). Wanting to be healthier is an awesome goal, but being healthy shouldn’t be a chore. Exercise, but let it be a celebration of what your body can do! Try dance workouts or even going for nature walks a couple times a week. Eat better, but cook meals that are both nutritious and delicious. Coming up with new recipes can be a great way to spend time with family and friends, too!

Making 2022 your year is still within reach. Make resolutions if you want, and use these tips to stick with them!

Presley is a senior at the University of Georgia and one of the Campus Correspondents for her Her Campus chapter. She is pursuing a double major in criminal justice and psychology, as well as a minor in Italian, and she hopes to attend law school after graduation. She plans to someday become a criminal prosecutor. When she's not binge-watching Law and Order, she's studying languages, literature, or music.