Advertisement

Struggling to keep on top of those New Year’s resolutions? Aren’t we all. These tips should help keep you on track if you set the bar too high.

11. Set a deadline

11. Set a deadline
Getty Images

Another part of your SMART goal is the “T,” which represents a time-bound or time-sensitive aspect.

Having a specific date or event in mind can light a fire under you.

Sign yourself up for a 5km run, for instance.

“Using a particular event works like setting a deadline, which can keep you more motivated,” Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, owner of BZ Nutrition, tells Women’s Health.

Meeting that deadline can then give you the momentum to schedule another, more challenging goal.

12. Make sure your resolution is doable long-term

12. Make sure your resolution is doable long-term
Getty Images

Although resolution-keeping includes meeting short-term or time-sensitive goals, this ideally leads to new habits for the long-term.

“Quick fixes won’t make you healthier long-term, so you shouldn’t focus on a change you only plan to make for a few weeks or months,” says Palinski-Wade.

“Ask yourself if you can foresee yourself sticking to this goal next year and in five years – your resolution should be focused on a lifestyle change you can maintain for life.”

13. Try trial and error to find what works

13. Try trial and error to find what works
Getty Images

Resolution-keeping is not an exact science.

You can try different approaches for achieving your goal to see what works for you.

“If you have not been able to do the desired plan, it means it’s not the right plan – it doesn’t mean you’re a failure,” writes Linda Walter, LCSW, for Psychology Today.

“Change the plan until you find one you’re able to accomplish.”

Struggling to keep on top of those New Year’s resolutions? Aren’t we all. These tips should help keep you on track if you set the bar too high.

14. Re-evaluate every month

14. Re-evaluate every month
Getty Images

Even after you find the plan that’s right for you, check in periodically to see if it’s still working.

“Your goals should be fluid to match your lifestyle,” Palinski-Wade says.

Your life will change periodically, so your plan for achieving your resolutions may have to adapt as well.

“There may be a few months where work is crazy and you can’t walk at lunch, so you need to focus on other ways to fit in fitness,” she says.

“Or, it may have been practical to cook dinner every night before you had kids, and now it may make more sense to meal prep in advance for the week.”

15. Focus on the process

15. Focus on the process
Getty Images

Research has shown that focusing on the “how” of a goal instead of the “what” actually helps you achieve it.

In one experiment, researchers had participants throw darts. One group was asked to get the highest score (an “outcome goal”); another was asked to work on perfecting how they held and threw the darts (“process goal”).

Guess which actually had the higher score?

And once the process goal group switched to an outcome goal, they had the skills to achieve the highest score of all.

16. Enlist your squad

16. Enlist your squad
Getty Images

Knowing family and friends are behind you can give you a boost when sticking to your resolutions.

“Change rarely happens on our own – we generally have others who help us along the way,” Dr. Serani says.

“When you ask family and friends for support, they can help keep you on track. Just make sure your support squad are trusted others who want you to succeed, and not toxic people who want to see you fail.”

Advertisement

Struggling to keep on top of those New Year’s resolutions? Aren’t we all. These tips should help keep you on track if you set the bar too high.

17. Find a “resolutions buddy”

17. Find a “resolutions buddy”
Getty Images

Otherwise known as a gym buddy, another person with the same resolution (in this case, to get in shape) can share your goal, motivate you, and hold you accountable.

One study found that those who had a workout companion actually exercised more.

And this principle doesn’t just apply to fitness – if your resolution is to read more, form a book club with another friend or friends to keep you on track.

18. Join an online support group

18. Join an online support group
18. Join an online support group

If you can’t find anyone IRL to join in your New Year’s resolutions, you can always look online. Support groups exist for just about any type of lifestyle change you want to make.

A recent study found dieters who made more connections in online weight-loss communities lost more weight.

“I think it’s great to be part of a community where you can talk about the challenges and successes involved in your behavioural change,” Dr. Serani says.

19. Make resolutions public on social media

19. Make resolutions public on social media
Getty Images

Announcing your intentions on Facebook, recording your progress on Instagram, or starting a blog about your journey can be a tool to keep you on track.

Studies have found that public commitment and a declaration of intent online to be associated with success in reaching personal goals.

But don’t do it if you’ll feel too exposed.

“For some, this can be a great way to increase accountability and motivation, but for others, this added pressure may cause them to feel ashamed of even small slip-ups and derail progress,” Palinski-Wade says.

“This depends on the individual, so focus on what works best for you.”

Struggling to keep on top of those New Year’s resolutions? Aren’t we all. These tips should help keep you on track if you set the bar too high.

20. Get daily inspiration

20. Get daily inspiration
Getty Images

Sign up for a daily newsletter that inspires or motivates you.

“Anything that gives you a boost of confidence and helps encourage you to make positive changes will do the trick,” writes fitness enthusiast and author Denise Austin.

Or try a compliment app like Attaboy, designed by psychologist Dan Ariely at Duke University’s Center for Behavioral Economics.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us:

Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team