7 Tips on How to Keep Your New Year's Resolution

We’re now one month into 2017 – how are those New Year’s resolutions coming? Studies show that only 8 percent of people each year achieve their New Year’s resolutions. To help you join that elite group, here are seven ways to keep momentum going this entire year until you reach your goals.

1. Keep a journal.

According to experts like Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar, putting things down in writing gives you clarity and focus and allows you to actively reaffirm your intentions. A journal allows you space to plan out how you’ll achieve your goals, a place to jot down the successes you achieve and the obstacles you face. Bullet journals are a popular way to organize all of that.

2. Make sure your goals are realistic.

According to the American Psychological Association, “By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life.” Moreover, if your target is far too out of reach, you’ll become discouraged early on. Small wins build momentum, and you’ll need that momentum to keep you going throughout the year. Which brings us to the next one:

3. Make sure your goals are specific.

You’re more likely to succeed if you can articulate what you want to accomplish, and how. For example, if you want to be more fit and active, break that down into measurable benchmarks so you can track your victories. You’ll feel much better about what you have accomplished if you can say, for example, you are able to run a 10 minute mile, or you go to the gym three times a week. Specificity is key.

4. It’s not all or nothing. Embrace the progress you have made.

All too often we fall into a trap of all or nothing. For example, if your goal is to go vegan, but you ate something with dairy for breakfast, it doesn’t mean the entire day is ruined and you should go grab a hamburger at lunch. Embrace all the “wins” you have had thus far, and accept the setback for what it is – just a setback. Analyze what happened, decide what you will do differently next time, and move on.

5. Make (and review) your plan.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Work backwards from your goal to figure out what you need to do to achieve it. For example, if you want to pay off a credit card debt of $6,000, calculate how much you would need to set aside each month, and then make a plan on what you will do to save an extra hundred bucks each week.

6. Find a community for support.

Community is powerful. Being around others who are like-minded and care about you can help keep you mentally healthy, strengthen your resilience, and give you feedback as you tackle the ups and downs of reaching your goal. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, having someone else who understands what you are going through can help keep you motivated and accountable.

7. Utilize technology: try an app…

There are hundreds of apps that are dedicated to the most popular New Year’s resolutions: weight loss, fitness, budgeting, smoking cessation. Here is a great list of apps that can help you along your journey.

7 Tips on How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

These are some of the best pointers to help you reach your goals this year. The important part is not to get discouraged, and to be flexible – remember, you can modify or start over anytime you need. Don’t forget, they’re YOUR New Year’s resolutions.