How to make your New Year’s resolutions last all year

Lose weight. Exercise more. Get organized. Save money. These are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and, although they may sound easy, 64 percent of people give up their resolutions by the end of January.

There are many factors that can contribute to failed resolutions. If the person creating the goal isn’t passionate about the goal they’ve set, they’re much more likely to give up on it, according to Forbes

For example, if a teenager plans to save money because their parents want them to, the chances are higher that the resolution will fail rather than if the teenager plans to save money for something they want to buy. 

Another reason for failure is a lack of specificity in goals, says Business Insider. If a goal has no specific limitations, there’s less to work toward and more to give up on. Goals like “lose weight” are easy to give up on because there is nothing for the person setting the goal to truly work toward. Goals such as “lose a certain amount of weight by a certain day,” on the other hand, are easier to achieve because one can measure the progress throughout the year, which will in turn motivate one to put more effort into the goal.

Here are four steps for writing an effective goal, from Rhythm Systems.

  1. Start with “I will.” This statement begins the goal on a positive note and can serve as motivation for the goal setter.
  2. Set a specific goal to be reached by a specific time, and make sure to continually track it. If the person setting the goal for the new year has an effective way of keeping track of the goal, it can be easier to see progress, therefore convincing the person to continue the goal or to make changes to the goal as needed.
  3. Break down the goal into smaller goals. Think about the steps needed to reach the goal. For example, if a person’s plan was to reach a certain weight, one of the goals might be to exercise five times a week for an hour. Use those steps to help make reaching the goal seem more possible.
  4. Find an accountability partner. Ask a family member or friend to help track the goal by meeting once every few weeks to talk about progress and to serve as reminders and encouragement.

New Year’s resolutions are a very common way to plan for the year ahead, and now you can be one step closer to truly achieving your goals for 2022.

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