How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions Past January

It’s that time of year when everyone begins to drop whatever goal they set for themselves to reach in the new year. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. Whether it was to exercise more or learn something new, most people do not keep pursuing this goal much longer than a month. If you’re looking for motivation to be among the few who maintain their resolutions throughout the year, here are some tips to get you started.

Start small. Some goals take time to fully accomplish. Build yourself up to whatever it is you want to do. Starting too big can make the goal seem too difficult or intimidating, and it may make you more tempted to give up. In the case of exercising more, maybe start by just short walks instead of spending hours at the gym. If you’re trying to spend less money, make a few cheaper purchases at first before trying to seriously minimize your budget. Whatever your goal, it’s important not to get in over your head and go for something that is actually manageable.

Motivate yourself. This may seem obvious, but without motivation, it can be extremely hard to keep up with your resolutions. That’s why it is essential to make sure you’re hyping yourself up for whatever you’re trying to do. Write empowering notes to yourself, listen to motivational music, or tell yourself you can do it. Feeling frustrated or weak may sway you towards stopping your resolution, but self-encouragement can help make you satisfied in what you’ve accomplished.

Set regular goals. Make daily, weekly, or even monthly goals that you can push yourself to achieve. It’s one thing to say “I want to learn a new skill,” but you may not know where to start. Set intervals for yourself that’ll make learning it easier, like practice the skill for a certain number of hours each week. Maybe keep a journal or a planner to document your progress. This way, it’ll make your resolution become more of a routine, and you’ll get more used to it than you would if you just set a general goal for the entire year.

Treat yourself. This one can be tricky. Set incentives for yourself whenever you reach a goal, but don’t do something that could contradict your resolution. If you’re trying to eat healthier, don’t create too many cheat days, but you can make little rewards for yourself like going out or buying something you’ve been wanting. This can make you even more motivated to accomplish the goals you set and ensure you don’t give up on your resolution.

New Year’s resolutions can feel like a lot of pressure, but with the right pacing and encouragement, you can achieve them without too much difficulty and become part of the 20% that last longer than a month.