Every December people begin to think about making lifestyle changes. A new year brings new possibilities, new choices and new hope for the future. That’s why making New Year’s Resolutions is so popular.

We often want to make changes in our lives and promising to do so at the start of a new year seems more manageable than at other times. Here are some tips to help you actually keep the resolutions you make this year… whether they involve losing weight, getting healthy or anything else!

1. Keep It Simple Sweetie.

Use the KISS method to ensure that you don’t get carried away by setting a resolution you have no hope of fulfilling. Simplify your resolutions to ensure you can achieve them.

2. Choose your resolutions with care.

Setting a New Year’s Resolution just because you feel you should is most likely setting yourself up for failure. Instead, make a resolution to change something you really want to change and your chances for success are much greater.

3. Be realistic.

Sure, you may want to lose 25 pounds in a week, but the chances of doing so are slim to none. Instead, evaluate the situation and set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish within the time frame you determine.

4. Broadcast your plans.

Tell friends and family about your New Year’s Resolution, don’t try to keep it to yourself. Letting others know your plans firms up your decision in your own mind and helps your goals seem more real.

5. Educate yourself.

Read about ways to succeed in making the change you’ve planned for. It will help you avoid pitfalls and better understand what you can expect as your change begins to take place in your life.

6. Avoid the same old resolutions.

While you may still need to lose the 10 pounds you resolved to lose last year, try setting a different resolution this time. Resolve to exercise more instead, which will accomplish the same results but won’t make you feel as if you’re just setting the same old resolution year after year without changing anything.

7. Break your resolution into achievable tasks.

Rather than focusing on one big change, opt for smaller, more manageable changes that you can track and accomplish more easily.

8. Create a plan of action.

Once you know the steps you need to take to fulfill your resolution, decide what you’ll do first, then what you’ll do next, after that step is complete. Plan each step in advance so you’ll know how to proceed as you reach each small goal.

9. Don’t expect overnight results.

Many times, we set a New Year’s Resolution and then expect the change to take place in a matter of days. This is rarely how it works. Realize that it takes time to develop habits and behaviors, and it takes time to change them. Be patient with yourself and expect gradual, rather than immediate results.

10. Don’t stress yourself out!

Change, even good change, can be stressful. We’re creatures of comfort and stepping out of our comfort zones can create stress and anxiety. When that happens, remind yourself that you’re making changes now so your life can be better later, and don’t let the stress get the best of you.

11. Find an accountability partner.

It sometimes helps to have someone who will hold you accountable for your actions. Ask a friend or family member to help you as you work to keep your resolutions.

12. Garner support from others.

Some behaviors are extremely difficult to change. They may require a full support team to succeed. Thankfully, there are support groups available for almost any desired behavior change. Search for one in your community to help you reach your goals.

13. Let your enthusiasm show!

Look on the changes you’re making in your life as an adventure rather than drudgery. Get excited about how much better you’ll feel when you’ve reached your goals. The journey can be as much fun as the destination!

14. Look at both the pros and cons of your decision.

Sometimes our first instinct is that all change is good, but even with good changes, there may be downfalls. For instance, if you decide to lose weight, you’ll need new clothes. Be prepared for both the positive and negative aspects of your decision so you can better deal with any changes you make.

15. Be prepared for set-backs.

There will probably be days when your good intentions fly out the window and you return to old habits. Prepare for these times in advance, and just like riding a horse… when you fall off, get back on and start over.

16. Prepare in advance.

Rather than waking up in the morning and deciding to change a major behavioral pattern, try planning for the change in advance. Tell yourself that next week, you’re going to make a change. This gives your subconscious time to adjust to the change so it doesn’t come as such a shock to your system. You’re more likely to succeed when you prepare in advance.

17. Reward yourself!

Look for ways to reward yourself after every step is reached. Take a long, relaxing bath. Spend time with friends and family. Go for an invigorating hike. Indulge yourself in some small way. It will make it that much easier to reach the next step because you’ll be looking forward to that reward.

18. Set a deadline.

As with any goal, it’s best to have a time-frame in mind as to when you want to have reached your goal. Give yourself plenty of time to realistically reach your goal, but plan for a specific date when it will be done.

19. Set a limit.

It’s best to work on just one or two resolutions at one time. You can better focus your efforts that way without feeling overwhelmed or trying to change too many things at once.

20. Track your progress.

This works especially well when you break your resolution down into small, manageable tasks. Create a chart of your progress so you can see exactly how far you’ve come with each step.

21. Use positive self-talk.

Self-talk, what we say to ourselves in our minds, has a tremendous effect on our behavior. Tell yourself you can achieve your goals, that you will succeed at keeping your resolution and you will begin to believe—subconsciously—what you say to yourself, which will make it real in your conscious life as well.

22. Write your resolutions down.

Writing your goals and desires down on paper has a strong affect on your psyche. It firms up your intentions and helps you focus on them more clearly. Take time to write down your goals, step by step, for greater results in keeping your resolutions.

23. Visualize the results

Imagine yourself after your goals have been met. What do you look like? How do you feel? What type things do you say? Spend a few minutes every day visualizing your achievement and you’ll be amazed at how much quicker and easier it will be to see them actually come to pass!

24. Make the choice.

You’ve talked about changing. You’ve made a resolution. Now firmly decide that will you stick with it—even when it’s uncomfortable—and bring the change to pass in your life. You CAN do it if you choose to!

25. Hang in there and never give up.

The going may indeed get tough. You may have discouraging days. You may feel like quitting. But if you’ve decided you really want to change a specific behavior, keep plugging away and one day you’ll wake up and realize you’ve reached that goal. And that will be a day worth celebrating!

There are many other strategies to help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, but putting these into practice will help you make a good start… to a great new year!


Related Blogs:

15 Best New Year’s Resolutions for Your Health


Additional Resources:

Golden Rules of Goal Setting: Five Rules to Set Yourself up For Success

Rohn: It Only Takes Six Steps to Plan Your Success

The Extraordinary Power of Visualizing Success


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