How to Stick to a Resolution

Tried and true tips to make sure you aren't waiting until next year to achieve this year's goals.

Do you find yourself setting the same New Year's resolutions year after year? It seems like every year I'm going to start working out; I'm going to start studying more; I'm going to stick to a budget. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of going back to square one every January first. Let's pass go and collect $200 for once.

1: Make your goal quantifiable.

It's easy to say, "I'm going to work out more this year!" All you have to do is squeeze in one more minute of exercise this year than you did the year before. Instead, set a goal that is easily quantifiable. Give yourself a number of boxes to check off, and then check them off.

This will also help keep you from giving yourself loopholes. If your resolution is to eat healthier, set a goal to prep healthy meals every weekend, and set another goal to take at least four of those healthy meals to work for lunch. If you just want to eat healthier, it's easy to eat a salad on Monday and then go to the food court with your coworkers on Tuesday. After all, you ate healthy, didn't you? It's all about balance! One meal out won't hurt you.

While it's true that a "cheat meal" won't hurt you, if you truly want to stick to your goal of eating healthier, why give yourself that loophole? (Plus, if you're a list maker like me, you'll love checking off those boxes as you reach your goal!)

2: Don't be afraid to take baby steps.

If you're a total couch potato and your goal is to workout seven days a week... You're going to struggle. If you've got the motivation, you can do anything, but a goal that big takes some serious willpower. Change is hard, so don't be afraid to take baby steps to help fend off burn-out. Start off small in January, and work your way up month by month, until by the end of the year, you're at your ultimate goal. 

For example, I want to quit impulse buying myself coffee and snacks between classes. I'm a full-time college student, and my campus has three coffee shops and no shortage of restaurants and grab-and-go stations. I spend a LOT of money on coffee and snacks, especially during exam season. My goal for January is to allow myself no more than two snack splurges per week. Maybe in February, I'll only allow myself one per week; in March, one every other. By the end of this semester and the start of the next, I'll be down to zero!

3: Surround yourself with energy that supports you.

Every bridge needs support, or else it will collapse when you try to cross it. There are a lot of ways to get that support, either by yourself or with others.

You can set some goals with your friends and help keep each other on track! Even just a single accountability partner can help make sure you're on the right track. That's what my boyfriend and I are doing - we're telling each other what our goals are, even though they're different goals, and we're keeping each other in check. Whoever meets more of their respective goals for the month wins, and loser treats winner to their date night of choice. You can also find a Facebook (or other social media) group of people who are working towards your goal, if that's your jam. Surround yourself with others who are working to achieve goals, and congratulate each other on even the smallest of successes. A rising tide lifts all boats!

If you're more of a solo-achiever, you can still surround yourself with supportive energy. Make a vision board and hang it up so you're always reminded of your goals and your reasons to achieve them. Get a goal tracker and keep track of your progress. Reward yourself when you reach certain milestones. Keep yourself excited about everything you're doing.

Now that you know the secrets, let's get down to business! Consider these your action items:

First, write down a goal. Now, make it quantifiable. Be that a dollar amount you want to make, a number of times you want to work out per week, an amount of time per day you want to dedicate to reading. Whatever the goal is, slap a number in there.

Now, take that number, and break it into increments. Whether they be quarterly, monthly, weekly, etc., give yourself some baby steps to take. By the end of the year, you want to be at your goal number.

Finally, pick how you're going to surround yourself with good energy and keep yourself hyped. Call up your mom, set calendar reminders, write affirmations on your bathroom mirror with dry-erase markers. Whatever works best for you!

Now you're all set to CRUSH your goals this year. If you did the action items, comment below what your now achievable goals are! If you think this info was useful, feel free to share it, and sign up for my weekly newsletter to get updates on more useful information!