After the terror-filled 2020, I am sure a lot of people find themselves craving change and self-growth. The new year poses as the perfect time to spice things up, set goals and stick to them. Unfortunately, after February and March usually New Year’s resolutions get tucked into bed and never seen again. We may all be guilty of abandoning our well-thought-out resolutions a month into the New Year. Sticking to resolutions always feels hard, but in reality, their achievability comes down to a few things.
Check out these 10 tips to sticking to your resolutions way past New Years!
1. Create short-term and long-term goals
Everyone wants to get their dream job or double their savings account. While these goals seem normal and great, putting a time frame on them can feel a bit tricky. These long-term goals prove so important when it comes to success and motivation. Remember, we call them long-term goals for a reason. You might not achieve these goals this year or even next year—and rightfully so.
Short-term goals remain just as important as long-term goals. These act as the goals that you make and achieve throughout the year. They keep you on track and they keep you motivated. Short-term goals can help you with school or with your job. Some good short-term goals can come in the form of making a biweekly chore list or writing down all of your assignments due for each week.
2. Write your goals down
The best way to reenforce your goals? Put them in black and white. Putting your thoughts down in front of you can make a huge difference in the actions that you take going forward. Visualization is key.
“My resolution this year is going to the gym for five days a week. My resolutions have always been exercise based, but this year I took it more seriously than ever. The first thing I did was right down my workout plan, so I know exactly what to do and not get lazy. So far, this has helped me stick to my goal,” Penn State junior Sarah Stachowski said.
Writing down your goals may seem tedious since you think about them all the time, but what about when May hits and you remember that you wanted to go on a post-final’s week girl’s trip a week or two too late? Keeping your written goals in front of you helps you stay focused—even if they take a little time to write down.
3. Remember why you made them in the first place
You can easily forget the reason why you made your resolution and get distracted from your goal. Whether you want to start working out, eating healthier or just changing old habits, it can seem too easy to stop actively trying to achieve your goals and let other things distract you.
“Every year my goal is the same: I want to spend less time on social media and focus on myself. But all of my friends are always on their phones and I get sucked into it too. I have to remind myself that social media can be so toxic, and I have to remember the way that it makes me feel sometimes,” Rutgers sophomore Steph LoNigro said.
A quick reminder can go a long way. Steer clear of resorting back to old habits by giving yourself quick and effective reminders on your phone or in your planner.
4. Make sure your goals remain realistic and reasonable
Does your goal for 2021 consist of reaching TikTok influencer status? Or to make millions and move across the country? I am sorry to say that these goals might not seem the most feasible goals for a single year. When you make unrealistic goals, it can feel so hard to achieve them and it hurts to know that you didn’t. My best advice? Start small; if you would like to achieve major Tik Tok fame, 1,000 new followers acts as a perfect goal. Bite-sized goals can help you speed along to reach your bigger goal over time.
5. Take small steps
You will never achieve your New Year’s resolution overnight. You will also never achieve your resolution if you go from zero to 100. The best way to reach your goals is to understand that this process is not a race! Hang tight and take your time.
“If you take one big step, then you won’t be able to appreciate the smaller steps it takes to get you where you want to be. I always look at my resolutions as learning experiences and I always learn more from the little lessons rather than one huge step. In my experience the smaller steps keep me humble. I learn a lot about myself and the challenges it takes to achieve something,” Penn State junior Sofia Ardizzone said.
A resolution feels much more reasonable when you know how long the process takes. So, don’t rush the process and enjoy the resolution journey. When you rush through the goal achieving process, it can take away some of the satisfaction after the fact.
6. Surround yourself with your top supporters
Achieving your goals can feel that much easier surrounded by your number one fans. On the days when the gym feels like last thing you want to do, your friends and family will give you that little push you need to complete your goals. Remember that your loved one’s root for you; they will always support and encourage you. When someone else pushes you to achieve something, it can feel like a different kind of motivation. Sometimes, everyone needs an outside source to motivate them.
7. Give yourself some slack
Changing old habits will never be easy. Giving yourself a break will act as the perfect step to creating new and better habits. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations and unreachable goals. Off days give you the perfect amount of relaxation. Remember that days off comes with the learning experience! Just like with school or work, taking a day off refreshes you to come back even stronger.
“I don’t always stick to my New Year’s resolutions, but when I do, I am kind of hard on myself if when I do something that goes against my goals. I am a perfectionist and I have to tell myself that it is okay to mess up a few times. Eating a cookie or a brownie is not going to make me gain 50 lbs.,” Penn State junior Frankie Molen said.
I am a firm believer that giving yourself a little slack will ensure that you meet your goal.
8. Recognize your progress
Completing your goals can appear like a long and tedious process. Instead of dwelling on how much time remains on the journey, think about how far you came. Especially in the first few months of the year, don’t feel discouraged because you don’t see immediate results. Recognize that you did so much in such a short period of time and these results will double by the end of 2021! Your progress will be worth it in the end!
9. Tell your friends and family about your goals
One word: accountability. When you share your goals with the people who care about you, they will help you enforce it. Tell your Mom about how you want to journal more and your friend about your goal to drink less caffeine. They will help you achieve it.
“When I decided that my goal for this year was to be more open-minded, [I] told my friend AJ right away. I know that he will push me to take risks and open up a little more,” Rutgers University junior Veronica DiBella said.
Telling your friends and families will not only add responsibility, but it will also push them to either adopt your goal or create their own. Growing and changing with the people who care about you might just feel like one of the most rewarding parts of your journey!
10. Make yourself a schedule and create good habits
It takes about 21 days to form a new habit. That means you can get the perfect head start on your goals in only three weeks. Work on making a three-week schedule where you promote good habits and form a routine. Those first three weeks might feel tough but think about the outcome. That habit that you may be trying so hard to form right now will not even remain a thought in a month and a half. These resolutions will just integrate into part of your routine.