How to Maintain New Year’s Resolutions

Four Tips for Making a Resolution and Keeping it Throughout the Year


Charlotte Clarke

New Year’s resolutions can become more attainable when starting small.

Catherine McLellan, Lifestyle Editor

Every year, many people fixate on their New Year’s resolutions, as they hope to create a better version of themselves going into the new year. As the hype around the phrase “new year, new me” quickly dies down, most resolutions do not see past the end of January. Often, New Year’s resolutions are vague goals such as to lose weight, to exercise more or just to be a better person. These general concepts do not design a specific enough path to follow for a goal, which reduces motivation as one cannot see themselves completing their objective. This, along with other flaws in resolutions, is one of the reasons why many people do not follow through with their New Year’s resolutions.

One way to make more attainable resolutions is to start small. If the goal is something that one can actually stick with, they will have more success in completing their goal throughout the year. Say one’s goal is to go to the gym more often. If they go to the gym zero times a week in 2019, it is highly unlikely that they will keep up with going to the gym six times a week in 2020. Instead of this unreasonable number, think of something more achievable, such as three times a week.

Another way to stay motivated to a resolution is to keep track of the progress towards that aspiration. Once the goal has been identified, keeping a list of how to accomplish that goal will be very rewarding, especially when crossing off all that has been achieved. Using a calendar can also be beneficial. Marking the days a step has been made towards the resolution will increase motivation to continue working for the goal the next day, and the following days.

Take commitment to another level with StickK. This app works to help people achieve their goals by making a “Commitment Contract”— an agreement that holds the user accountable for following through with their goals. After the user defines a goal and creates their plan to follow through with it, StickK aids them by providing services such as a “Referee” who verifies the user’s progress, communities with users who have similar goals and a “Commitment Journal” where the user can track their progress and invite family and friends to view and post encouraging comments. It is also important to stay motivated with a goal and continue working towards it despite slip-ups. Yes, it may seem as though punishing oneself for forgetting to go to the gym or breaking a diet would help with motivation for another time, but this is not the case. Associating a resolution with punitive behavior is toxic and counterintuitive, as it will decrease motivation.

It is better to focus on making progress towards the goal, rather than only seeing the mistakes. New Year’s resolutions are, indeed, hard to keep; however, it is not impossible. By staying committed to a goal, one can have hope to continue their resolution throughout the whole year.