15 Tips For Sticking To Your New Years Resolution

Get Access to Support, Benefits, and Resources for Single Parents. Join the SPAOA Community for FREE!

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to stick to. Of those that set a resolution, only 9.2% feel they actually succeeded, This can be discouraging if you’ve set a New Year’s resolution, but don’t let this scare you. You can absolutely stick to your resolution if you set yourself up for success from the beginning. The tips below will help you do just that.

Decide On One Goal At A Time
   Trying to do everything at once is a sure way to stretch yourself too thin. Choosing one goal at a time ensures that you can give it more time, energy, and effort. Once you've conquered your first goal, feel free to add another.
Use Positive Language
   Think about all of the times you’ve wanted to do or eat something just because you weren’t supposed to. You may not have thought much about having a burger until you decide you’re not going to eat them anymore. Then you just can’t stop thinking about having a burger. By phrasing goals using positive language, such as “Eating healthier food” instead of “Avoid eating bad food”, you shift the focus to what you can eat.
Do Your Research
   Going in blind is a surefire way to fail. Research what it will take to make your goal, what constitutes success, and how to measure your progress. Without knowing this information, you won’t have very much direction. Search the web, contact experts, and talk to people that have achieved your goal.
Setting The Goal


A SMART goal is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time Bound. Here’s how they work:

When you write down your goal, include what, when, and where. For example, instead of “Get Fit” you would say “Work out at the gym three times a week.

You should be able to clearly measure your progress and define what it means to successfully meet your goals. Using the example above, you could measure your success by how many times a week you make it to the gym. If you make it for three days, you can consider it a success.

Is your goal something that you can actually achieve? Be realistic about whether or not you have the time, resources, and ability to succeed. Choosing an unattainable goal will only hurt your confidence in yourself and make it harder for you to achieve any other goals.

Ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal. Why is it important to you? Does it benefit you in some way? If the answer to these questions is no or you can’t answer them at all, you may want to consider a new goal.

Time Bound
Outlining the amount of time you have to complete your goal and/or your end date gives you a clear cut finish line. Using the first example, you would change your goal to “Work out at the gym three times a week for six months” At the end of the time you could choose to increase the amount of times you go to the gym or decide that three days a week works well for you. 


Start Small
    This ties into making your goal attainable. Reconsider trying to save $300 a month if you’ve never saved money or losing 30 lbs in a month. These just aren’t realistic. Commit to saving a smaller amount of money in the beginning. Set your goal to 3 or 4 lbs in a month. As much a most people want to hit the ground running, it’s just not very effective.
Break It Into Smaller Steps
    Tackling your goal in bite-size pieces gives you mini-finish lines on your way to the big one. If you’re trying to lose weight, start by eating healthier for a month, then adding in exercise the next month, and adding intensity or workout time each month. If you’re trying to save money, start by putting aside $5 a paycheck, and increasing it by $5 every month or two.
Plan Ahead
    Know what days and times you plan on going to the gym or how much money you can actually afford to save. More importantly, plan for any difficulties that may occur. Anticipating the things that could get in your way prevents you from getting caught off guard and allows you to adjust accordingly.
Setting Yourself Up For Success

Write It Down
Putting your goal down on paper will make it more real to you. Post it in places you are most likely to see it as visual reminders. Goals are useless if you forget about them.
Get Enough Food, Water, And Sleep
Being hungry, tired, or dehydrated can be surprisingly effective in knocking you off track. That’s because it’s harder for us to think straight and keep our resolve when our physical needs aren’t met. So make sure to get to bed at a decent time and eat and drink regularly.
Learn How To Manage Stress & Anxiety
Stress is an even worse offender when it comes to undermining goals. Many people deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating or overspending. Learn how to deal with it in a healthy way like taking a bubble bath to relax or talking to a friend. You could even pick stress relief techniques that will help you reach your goals, such a working out to work off some steam or settle down your anxiety.
Celebrate Small Victories
Acknowledging and celebrating the small victories will give you the confidence boost you need to keep going. Give yourself small rewards such as a massage or mani/pedi. Just be sure that you don’t pick a mini reward that will set you back.
Sticking To It

Monitor Your Progress
If you made a specific and  measurable goal, you will be able to measure your progress as you go. Did you go to the gym 3 times this week? Did you save the $5 this paycheck? Keep note of your progress to give you some extra energy to stick to it, whether you’ve been doing well and want to keep going, or you’ve been falling short and want to improve.
Talk About It
If no one knows about your goal, no one can hold you accountable. Have at least one person you can talk to about how it’s going and any success or difficulties you are experiencing. Not only are you able to put it out in the open, but possibly get some good advice or feedback.
Don’t Let Setbacks Discourage You
When you are creating a new habit or getting rid of an old one, it will rarely be perfect at first. But if you stumble, don’t stay down. Get back up and keep going. If you can’t work through missteps, you significantly lessen your chances of reaching your goal. So keep going.
Reward Yourself
Once you’ve reached your goal, you have every right to reward yourself! Make it something that excites you and gives you the feeling that you’ve done something great. Because you have.
Although we are in the second week of January, it’s not too late to refresh your new year’s resolutions. Just because you’ve already begun your journey, doesn’t mean you can’t do things to increase your chances of success.
We’d love to hear about your new year’s resolutions! Let us know below!
Find more Articles, Resources and Benefits for Parents at SPAOA.org.
By Alecia Stanton of Single Parents Alliance of America

Get Access to Support, Benefits, and Resources for Single Parents. Join the SPAOA Community for FREE!

Trending News & Information