New year's resolutions sticky notes

Getting Back on Track with Your New Year's Resolutions

Setting goals, both big and small, for the new year is a common exercise among most adults in the United States. However, a whopping 80% all New Year’s resolutions fail within the first six weeks of the year, and only 8% of all resolutions are deemed successful by year-end. Motivation starts to wane, schedules make sticking with new routines a challenge, and an overall feeling of defeat creeps in by mid-February making it difficult to accomplish anything on your resolution list. If you’ve fallen off the wagon with your New Year’s resolutions, don’t fret; there are several steps you can take to get back on track.


Rework Your Goals

One of the most common reasons New Year’s resolutions falter early in the year has to do with how the goal was created in the first place. Saying you want to lose weight during the year is commendable, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll do so if you don’t establish what that means for you specifically. Setting goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely – is the best way to ensure you have a chance to reach them. Instead of saying you want to lose weight, set a goal to workout three times per week or eat vegetables with every dinner. If you made lofty or ambiguous New Year’s resolutions, review what you set out to do and make changes that are more tuned into what you’d like to achieve.


Establish a Reward System

New Year’s resolutions often include intentions to meet big goals for the year which require ongoing work. Some people fall short of reaching their objectives because there is no system in place to track progress over an extended period of time. Creating a rewards-based system can help with this all-too-common pitfall. First, you have to determine what motivates you to keep pushing ahead. Whether that is a new outfit or accessory, taking a trip with friends, or taking a day off from work to get a massage, establishing a reward for yourself based on your progress toward a major goal is one way to get back on track.


Get an Accountability Partner

In addition to revamping your resolutions and setting up a system of rewards, finding a partner in crime can help you stay on the path toward reaching your goals. A friend, family member, or co-worker who understands what you are trying to accomplish can be your best tool toward achieving that next milestone in weight loss, career advancement, or even mental and emotional well-being. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your resolutions with a friend, there are numerous business coaches, fitness trainers, and financial professionals who are there to lend a necessary hand. Find the accountability partner who you are most comfortable with, and make a commitment to check in with them consistently while working toward your objectives.


Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

One of the quickest ways to fall short on your New Year’s resolution is to get down on yourself when you don’t see immediate results or you lose your drive to move forward. You should remember that change, especially a major lifestyle shift like eating healthier or losing weight, does not happen overnight. When you start to slow down toward your goal progression, take a moment to remember what it is you’re trying to achieve and the why behind it. Be kind to yourself throughout the process, and know that as a human, you’re bound to have a misstep here or there. Don’t let small mistakes derail your progress, no matter how small that forward movement may seem in the moment.


Creating New Year’s resolutions is not a simple process, and neither is sticking with them. It takes a heavy dose of dedication to reach your next accomplishment, not to mention an understanding of why we fail to meet our goals so often. Be specific about what you want to achieve and reward yourself for small steps in the right direction. Additionally, find someone who can act as an accountability partner to keep you on track, and remember not to beat yourself up if you fall short. Taking these simple steps will help you get back on the path toward reaching your New Year’s resolutions, no matter how big or small they may be.


Published: February 15th, 2017