How to be sure your New Year’s Resolutions stick

Illustration+by+Sarah+Hofstedt.
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How to be sure your New Year’s Resolutions stick

Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt.

Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt.

Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt.

Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt.

Ashley Hawn

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Your New Year’s resolution may be just as daunting as your holiday list. Maybe the start of the new year is when you look to eat less, exercise more, make new friends, travel more, eat better or pay your debt.

January is a time to think about what you want to accomplish within the upcoming 12 months. However, sometimes sticking to new habits can become a little difficult as the days go by. The trick with resolutions is figuring out how to make them stick when the beginning months fade.

When your holiday decorations are put away the reminder of failed resolutions may make the remainder of the year seem hopeless. It is important to remember that January does not serve as the platform for a complete character change.

Psychologist Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., states, “Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for.”

There is a greater chance of your new resolutions lasting throughout the year if you set realistic goals for yourself. These four steps will assist you this year in making your goals and best self possible.

First is to start small in setting goals that are reasonable for you to keep. For example, if you are looking to exercise more, plan for three to four days at the gym instead of all week.

Secondly, re-meet with your goal every week and plan out what you need to do weekly to reach that goal. Third is to talk about it with your family and friends. Having a support group to share your successes and shortcomings with will make the goal much less intimidating.

My fourth and last piece of advice is to not beat yourself up. Perfection is impossible and it is normal to have minor missteps here and there. Don’t completely give up because you ate one cupcake or skipped the gym for a few days. Resolve to recover from mistakes and get back on track. Continue to nudge yourself in the direction you want to go and don’t forget that change doesn’t happen overnight.

Trying these steps will ensure you have lifelong change long past 2019. Don’t forget to praise yourself along the way because the small victories amount to big success. There is no reason to not dream big and being ambitious will inspire others around you. Make this year the best one yet, Matadors, and never forget to believe in yourself.