How to make (and keep) a New Year’s Resolution

New year, new you – for real this time.

New Year’s Resolutions. They’re pesky little reminders of the closing of one year and the beginning of another. The idea is to become a better person or improve upon something each year. Some people choose to focus on their weight, being nicer, giving to charity, becoming gluten-free, finding a new job, exercising more, etc. But some of those improvements we want to make to ourselves can be too large to swallow as the new year rolls in. We often find them hard to stick to. For all of us who struggle with change, here are a few tips to help you embrace the new you in the New Year.

Make it attainable

Sure, saying you want to shave off a few pounds may sound easy at first, but once the holidays are over and busy life starts again, between school and/or work, it can be hard to eat right and get the proper exercise. Another example is expecting to instantly become gluten-free by cutting off all sources of gluten to one’s diet and then finding it difficult to obtain gluten-free substitute snacks to satisfy one’s hunger in between classes. These are not effective ways to be successful. When choosing a New Year’s Resolution, make sure it is something you are adequately prepared to accomplish, like taking a walk once a week or saying one kind word to a stranger each day. Eventually, these simple occasional changes will take over and you won’t even have to think about it. Small choices become good habits over time.

Set mini-goals

If you’re set on losing those 10 pounds, break up the task into bite-size pieces. Say you first focus on cutting out those potato chips you like to eat every day after class, then hitting the gym for 30 minutes once a week. Focus on losing a few pounds at first, and then build on it over time. New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be daunting tasks if you set up checkpoints to your larger goal. As you go throughout the year, you will still get that rewarding feeling every time you meet your mini-goals while also bringing you one step closer to your overarching resolution.

Employ a friend

It never hurts to have someone there for you along the ride. Whether your friend has the same resolution or is willing to check up on your progress, having them there for accountability can help. They can coach you along or nag you to stick with it. Everyone needs some words of encouragement every now and again, so having someone there to cheer you on can significantly increase your success.


All in all, remember that in the end, if you learned something in your journey towards success, that’s all that matters. New Year’s Resolutions are fun, but don’t get too carried away with trying to cram in last year’s resolution in the last few months before your deadline of December 31st at 11:59 p.m. Hopefully, these little tricks will help you to stick to those lovely changes that we feel compelled to put ourselves through.

Hannah Vermont is a Staff Writer for The Daily Runner.