How To Make A New Year's Resolution You'll Actually Stick To

There is a lot of talk about resolutions this time of year, about what people hope and want for the next year. In the U.S. 45% of people make a new year’s resolution but only 8% actually achieve it. Here is a list of some of the most common New Year’s resolutions:

  • weight loss
  • exercise
  • get a new job
  • get out of debt
  • save money
  • eat healthier
  • spend more time with family
  • manage stress better
  • stop procrastinating
  • travel
  • do something for charity

Those resolutions sound all too familiar to me. Not all of them have been what I’ve wanted to focus on at the beginning of a new year but every single resolution/want/desire on that list is something I have made up my mind to do at one point or another. But, well, I guess that’s just it, isn’t it? I never actually made up my mind to do those things because if I had, I would have. 

Jessica Zoob

Psychologist Lynn Bufka suggests that we set “small, attainable goals throughout the year, rather than a singular, overwhelming goal,” in order to actually achieve what we are hoping for. She urges us to “remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and [you must] work toward it, one step at a time.” 

Did you hear that? Really? 

it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and [you must] work toward it, one step at a time.
— Lynn Bufka

One. Step. At. A . Time.

This is not a drill people, this is your life. It reminds me of a Switchfoot song called “This is Your Life.” 

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead

Yesterday is a promise that you've broken

Don't close your eyes, don't close your eyes

This is your life and today is all you've got now

Yeah, and today is all you'll ever have

Don't close your eyes

Don't close your eyes


This is your life, are you who you want to be?

This is your life, are you who you want to be?

This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be?

When the world was younger and you had everything to lose


Well, are you who you want to be? I know I’m not. I am proud of who I am, don’t get me wrong, but there is so much more I want to be. There is so much more I want to know. There are so many places I want to see and understand. There are so many more stories I want to be able to tell. There is so much more life I want to live. 


If so many people set goals and so many people fail at achieving those goals, is there any hope for us? Experts suggest that the key to actually achieving the goal/resolution you set is to make it small and set very specific goals. Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” say exactly how you plan to do that. Maybe you decide to cut soda out of your diet for a six months. Maybe you decide to eat only whole foods for 30 days. Maybe you decide to join a spin class or Crossfit or a running group. The point is not what you decide to do, the point is how specific you are about it. One of the goals I’m setting for myself is to be at my Crossfit box ("gym")  at 5:30 am on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays every week. 

You have to find what works best for you and realize that in order to be successful with your resolution, you’re going to have to change things and give up things. For me, I’m having to change my work schedule. Currently I get to work five days a week at 5 am and I get off work at 1:30 pm. I like that schedule because I’m off work early and I get to see all of my favorite regulars and work the busiest part of the day. But I know that in order for me to be able to commit to a regular workout schedule, I have to place it during the part of the day that I know I will be most likely to do it. That’s early for me, so, in order to achieve a goal that is very important to me (be stronger + healthier), I’m giving up the day part at work that I like the most. 


1. make your resolution realistic

2. make your resolution specific

3. tell yourself that you can do it

4. recognize that any improvement means that you're successful

5. tell people about your resolution and ask them for help in achieving it

Start by asking yourself what you want for the next year. Dream big, but be mindful of the realities of life. Once you know what you want, figure out specific steps to help you get there. Is one of your resolutions going to be to travel more? Awesome! Now, where are you going to go? When? How much money do you need to save? Is anyone going with you? How will you get there? Where are you staying? What will you do? The more specific you can be, the better your chances of actually going somewhere will be! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

Above all else, remember:


Be sure to check back Friday to see some of mine and Dani's New Year's Resolutions!

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