Tips for sticking to New Year resolutions

Set yourself for New Year success by picking resolutions with these suggestions.

We all make New Year resolutions thinking, “This will be the year I change. I’m going to be a better person, exercise more, eat healthy and make the bed every day.” The list goes on. Then, February comes and we find ourselves either laughing or perhaps upset we didn’t succeed in achieving our goals.

It seems making resolutions and keeping them are two completely different things all together. How can we make resolutions stick throughout the year for beneficial change. Try to follow these guidelines when picking a New Year’s resolution:

  1. Choose a few things you’d like to change, less than five is ideal. The more things you try to change in a small time frame the less likely you are to keep moving forward with your new behaviors.
  2. Make your resolutions with a smart brain. Smart brain meaning setting goals that are logical, maintainable, and realistic. If you’re thinking about results to last a lifetime, it needs to be in one of those three categories.
  3. Try a new resolution that you haven’t tried in the past. If you had great idea in 2015 or 2016 and you didn’t succeed, don’t try it again the same way. We do what is comfortable and habitual; reprogram your thinking with a new resolution.
  4. Work in small time blocks. Keep yourself focused on getting your new behavior completed in a week, then build to two weeks and so on. This way you can see the small steps are moving to a larger timeframe.
  5. Make sure you’re willing to pay the price to achieve what you want to achieve. Many times we want to try something new and to move toward a desirable goal to make ourselves a better person in some way. Changing behaviors may come with a price and if you’re not willing to pay the price to change, there is little chance you will follow your plan for a lifetime.

Michigan State University Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute has many programs to help individuals toward behavior change. Experts from Michigan State University Extension make it possible to bring communities together and to educate citizens on a healthy lifestyle for a positive behavior change. 

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