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7 Tips to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition for many people, as a new year often brings the perception of a fresh start or a clean slate.


We often feel excited or simply obligated to embark on significant behavioural changes each January. However, resolutions are much easier to make than to keep, and surveys show many of us abandon our good intentions within three months.


When we don’t meet our new goals, we often feel a sense of failure, which can lead to lower self-esteem, heightened stress, and anxiety, ultimately taking a toll on our mental health.


So here are some tips on how to stick with your new goals.


7 tips for keeping your New Year’s resolution


Clearly define your goal:  Clearly articulate what you want to achieve, and write it down somewhere, even if you never refer to it again. The act of detailing in writing what you hope to do, and how, requires more complex brain functions and encodes the information more deeply in your mind. Ambiguous or vague goals make it difficult to track progress and stay motivated.


Put it on your schedule: Treat your resolutions with the same importance as other commitments. Schedule specific times for the steps or activities related to your goals to ensure they become a priority in your daily life.


Track your progress: Regularly monitor and assess your progress, perhaps on a weekly or monthly basis. Tracking your achievements, no matter how small, provides motivation and helps you stay focused on the ultimate goal.


Stop “All or Nothing” thinking : Be mindful of your thinking patterns and try to avoid the mindset that ‘if you can’t do everything perfectly, it’s not worth doing at all.’ Doing something, even if it’s a small step or less than what you’d like to do, is better than doing nothing.


Pick a goal that motivates you: Choose resolutions that align with your personal values and motivations, rather than pursuing a goal that society or social media recommends. When you are passionate about your goals, it becomes easier to stay committed.


Break down your big goals: Divide larger objectives into smaller, more manageable tasks. If your goal is to become fitter, try working towards being physically active in any way three times a week. If your resolution is to read more, try working towards finishing a chapter a week. This not only makes the overall goal less overwhelming but also allows you to celebrate smaller victories along the way.


Don’t beat yourself up: Change is difficult – and setbacks are a natural part of the process. Instead of seeing setbacks as failures, tell yourself that you are allowed to make mistakes, and one mistake doesn’t ruin you chance of achieving your goal. And instead of dwelling on any failures, view them as opportunities to learn and adjust your approach.


Remember that the journey towards self-improvement is a gradual process, and it’s okay to adjust your goals as needed to ensure they remain realistic and meaningful for you.


Sticking to your resolutions requires patience, resilience, and self-compassion. By approaching your resolutions with flexibility, kindness to yourself, and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can make lasting changes that positively impact your life.



Vidula V Sawant (M.A., M.Phil., CRR No. A80980) is a clinical psychologist with 4+ years of experience and a passion for understanding the complexities of our minds and behaviours.




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