Have you made New Year’s resolutions in the past and had trouble sticking to it? You’re not alone, studies show that 80% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions. But there’s hope. We’ve come up with easy ways to help you actually stick to your New Year’s resolution.
1. Take small steps.
Too often we make a resolution to change something that is bigger and more complex than we think. Some of the most popular resolutions are to get fit or to save money. Although they sound simple, both require a lot of steps, sacrifice, and planning. Which is why a lot of people don’t meet their goal. It’s overwhelming to change everything at once. So instead pace yourself and make small changes. If you want to save money for instance, think of 2-3 small ways you can do so. Make the decision to pack lunch at least 3 times a week, make coffee at home instead of buying it, or order take-out only once a week.
2. Come up with a plan.
Write down the steps and materials required to accomplish your goal and to stick to your resolution. Let’s stick with the saving money theme as an example. If you were planning on meal prepping to save money, write down recipes and a grocery list. Plan ahead so that you always have ingredients on hand and are more likely to follow through. Keep meals simple and try to chose recipes you’ll actually enjoy eating.
3. Call in reinforcements.
Let those closest to you know about your resolution. Explain that you’re going to be eating out less or pulling back on some activities. You could also ask for help. Work something out with a coworker, family member, or friend and take turns prepping meals for each other. Ask for help whenever possible or reach out to someone who has a similar resolution so you can support each other.
4. Have a plan B.
I know, this probably sounds like you’re already setting yourself up for failure, but having a plan B or backup plan insures that you still stick to your resolution even if you mess up or go off track. Let’s say meal prepping doesn’t work out for you, replacing it with another money-saving alternative is better than giving up altogether. Perhaps a meal delivery service instead of buying lunch and going grocery shopping. This might be a better plan for you if it helps you save money and time. Some companies deliver everything you’ll need to prep meals for the week, already pre-measured and it might be cheaper than your weekly grocery trip. While other services deliver meals already prepared and all you have to do is heat it up.
5. Focus on your goal.
Why did you chose this resolution? Are you saving for your dream house or car? Are you looking forward to being debt free? Are you planning on taking your dream vacation? Keep reminders around so that you remember why you’re making these changes and why they’re so important to you.
6. Celebrate your victories.
Remember that change takes time and nothing happens overnight. It’s important to root for yourself even if progress is slow. Sticking to your goal, no matter how small, should be celebrated. Instead of thinking it’s been two months and all I’ve saved is $200 look at it like this: I have stuck to my goal for two months and I’ve already saved $200.