Every year we make our New Year Resolutions. Some we keep and some never make it past January 31st. This year let’s make a resolution to keep our resolutions with these 11 easy ways to make them stick from Forbes.com.
1. Keep a resolutions chart.
This method may be a blast from the past, but it could be worth a shot. Old can be new again. The concept is to make yourself accountable by each day having to check off boxes in the chart for things completed. A low tech way to effectively get the job done.
2. Use the 10 minute rule.
Resolutions by nature can become overwhelming before they even begin. Use the 10-minute rule to break the resolutions in to manageable portions of time. Take the time to write down any resolution-related tasks that can be done in 10 minutes or less such as cleaning off the kitchen counter, making a phone call, doing a quick set of crunches or push-ups, or anything small that can fit into the time frame.
3. Make it something you love.
Instead of making all your resolutions something you dread, make some that are fun. You can keep the regular “eat healthier” and “exercise more”, but add in something that you have always wanted to do but just never had the time to do. Have you wanted to learn how to scuba dive or paint? Maybe host more dinner parties or read more books? Make this year the year you resolve to do that one, or two things you would be happy to add to your life.
4. Set up mobile reminders.
Most web-based calendars allow you to set up recurring events by reminding you via an e-mail or text thus making it a little harder to “forget” those little tasks as you are alerted on your phone. If a web calendar won’t work for you then find an app for your phone that can. Just make sure the reminder is in a form that it will get your attention and not be ignored.
5. Break it into steps.
If you happen to make a large resolution, break it into smaller steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed and it becomes doable. For instance, you want to organize your whole house. Make it easier to accomplish by breaking it in to different rooms each month. Maybe your resolution is to lose 20 pounds – set your goals at 5 pound increments by certain periods of time so you don’t feel defeated before you start.
6. Create visual reminders.
Posting notes in places you will see or placing necessary items in spots that you won’t miss can help you accomplish your resolution, especially if it is a new habit you are trying to start. For example, if you are trying to start a regular gym routine, leave a note on your nightstand to pack your gym clothes or leave the gym bag at the front door so you don’t leave without it in the morning.
7. Join a group.
A sure fire way to keep a resolution is by joining a group. The group gives you a social atmosphere and a firm time commitment that make it hard to not keep. If there isn’t a group that fits your resolution, then start your own group with friends that will keep everyone interested and on track. You want to craft more or read more, start your own craft group or book club to help keep those resolutions intact.
8. Make it automatic.
Technology can turn out to be your friend when it comes to keeping resolutions. If your goal is to cut your energy bill this year, then install a thermostat that can be controlled and programmed from the device or from your phone. If you are trying to save money for that dream trip, then set up a savings account so the money is automatically deposited into the account every paycheck making it easier to save and for you to keep your resolution.
9. Make it pleasant.
If your resolution is about going to the gym, then make it easier on yourself by having cute shoes you can’t wait to put on. If organizing the house is the top item on the list, buy yourself cute bins or a label maker to make you excited to organize. Whatever it may be, treat yourself so that you can’t wait to get your resolution going and keep going throughout the year.
10. Garner support from loved ones.
It is always easier to accomplish a goal when you have the support of loved ones. A gentle nudge or reminder, celebrating with you when a goal has been met, or just giving all around support from family members or friends can help you keep your resolution. However, keep anyone who tends to be judgmental or pessimistic out of your support system – their negativity will not help you succeed.
11. Limit yourself to one goal.
Setting too many resolutions can cause failure right off the start. Try and narrow your list down to one goal to start off. When you accomplish one then you can start another. Multitasking can be harder on the best of days, and too many resolutions can cause failure before you even get started. Set your sights on one to start and once you succeed – reward yourself greatly.
New Year Resolutions can be seen as frightening. Keep these easy tips at hand when making your list and you will have a better chance of resolution success.