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This post was updated December 20th, 2018
It’s that time of year again – the ending of one year and beginning of a new one. This is when many of us look back on the year we just had and think about what could have been different or better, usually about ourselves. Or we think about what goals we would like to accomplish that we have not yet as another year comes to a close.
Cue the New Year’s Resolution.
You know, that promise, vow, pledge – choice that we make at the beginning of the year to improve ourselves in some way or to fulfill some sort of goal.
I think New Year’s resolutions are a great thing. I love that people want to make positive changes in their life or have desires they want to see fulfilled.
Whatever resolution you may have, many of us fall into the same category:
Most people who make a New Year’s resolution don’t end up keeping it.
This is certainly not a secret. Every year we hear about how many people failed to keep their New Year’s resolutions.
There are a myriad of reasons as to why people don’t keep them. And I’m not here to place blame or call anyone out. As I said, most of us fail at keeping them. Myself included!
But when I think about how I have kept other commitments in my life, I can’t help but believe that I can use the same ideas to keep a New Year’s resolution. Because after all, isn’t that what a New Year’s resolution is – a commitment? We tend to lift it up higher than most others, but if we have ever kept a commitment or achieved any other goal in our life, why can’t we achieve this one as well?
I think we can! As with anything else it just takes work.
So based on my experiences, here are 6 tips to help you keep and achieve your New Year’s resolution:
I talk about the importance of really wanting something in order to achieve it in a post I wrote on how I finally gave up my lip balm addiction. I have learned over the course of my life that if I don’t truly want something, it is not going to happen.
Sometimes I wonder how many people make New Year’s resolutions for things they don’t really want.
For example, someone makes a resolution to quit smoking cigarettes. However, he or she still enjoys it and doesn’t really want to quit. They only made the resolution to quit because they feel it’s the right thing to do or because someone guilted them into it. And if that really is the case, that person will probably not actually quit.
Only when you really want something will you make the sacrifices it takes to make it happen.
Make sure it’s attainable
I’m not saying here that we shouldn’t reach for big dreams. Of course we should! But if you make a resolution to visit every Major League ballpark in one year and yet only have two weeks of vacation and are living paycheck to paycheck, that goal just might not be realistic at the time.
Now if you want to visit 10 Major Leagues ballparks in one year, it might be difficult and there’s a chance you might not be able to actually make it work, but you could sure give it a try. That goal is certainly attainable at the time.
When you make a New Year’s resolution, think about what it will take to stick with it. Is whatever it is realistic? If not, you may have to push it off another year or two.
Keep it visible
Write down your New Year’s resolution on a post it note and tape it to your mirror so you see it every morning. Or write it on the chalkboard you have in your kitchen. Or put it on your dashboard. Maybe you need to have your phone remind you about it as soon as you wake in the morning.
The old saying is true: out of sight, out of mind. So whatever method works for you, make sure you are reminded of your resolution often.
Have an accountability buddy
When you make a New Year’s resolution, don’t hide it. Tell someone (at least one person) who you know will encourage you along the way. When you want to give up or it seems you have pushed your resolution to the back of your mind, they will remind you of it, tell you to get back with it, and hopefully you’ll be able to do the same for them.
Make sure your accountability buddy is someone that will not be afraid to push you to keep going when you want to give up.
Journal about it
Write down how it is going for you daily or a few times a week. What successes have you had? What failures? Have you wanted to give up yet? Let it all out.
If you don’t like to write, talk to someone about it (hello accountability buddy!).
Getting it out of your system is a great way to either vent about your frustrations or to help you celebrate your successes.
Yes, the results you will see if you keep your resolution should be a big motivator. But you can motivate yourself in other ways as well! If you lose your goal weight for January, buy those jeans you’ve been wanting. If you’ve read your goal of five books in the first few months of the year, take yourself to a movie. Use whatever motivation you need. Just make sure you stick within your budget and are smart about any money you spend.
Just reward yourself – you’ve earned it!
So what New Year’s resolution (or resolutions) do you have for the upcoming year? Is it something you actually want enough that you can succeed at it? Is it attainable? Do you have someone that can hold you accountable and encourage you? In what ways will you reward yourself?
I believe that if we follow the tips above, we can stick to our New Year’s resolutions. And if you still don’t make it all the way through, that’s OK! It doesn’t have to be New Year’s to try again 🙂
If you have any other methods you use to stick to your commitments, give them a try here as well!
Now here at Living Free With Amy T, we’re all about freeing up your time and finances so you can do the things you really enjoy guilt-free.
If you’re in a place where you would like to simplify your life more, here are some possible New Year’s resolutions for you:
- Create and stick to a monthly budget
- Get out of debt
- Be more productive with your time
- Spend less money
- Pay your bills on time
- Meal Plan
- Stop procrastinating
- Overcome an addiction
So what resolution(s) are giving a try this year? Comment below!
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