How to Make and Keep New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2017! We’ve made in through the confusing and pothole ridden 2016 and we can now transition into a year of good intentions, even if we just have control of our own! New Year’s resolutions are typically easy goals to set but not as easy to follow through. In order to be successful, it’s best to be specific with your resolutions and find small ways to work towards those goals every day.

Making Resolutions

I’ve been guilty of throwing so many resolutions into the air and being shocked when I couldn’t juggle them all. It’s a new year, not a new life, so making more than 2-3 resolutions is likely going to be difficult. Also, if you are making a huge resolution, like quitting smoking, then it might not be the best time to also go on a restricted calorie diet. You can get there, but right now might not be the time. Whether you plan on working on your health, your wealth, or your work/life harmony, the key is to find a balance in your resolutions.

Choose One Big Resolution

This resolution should be one that you struggle with consistently and will require a lot of dedication on your part. This is not the easy resolution but it is one that you have found to be necessary. For me that is going to be getting back into a workout schedule. My health is number one priority this year and while I’ve been relying on an eating plan, I find I’ve let my agility slip. Typically this big goal presents some sort of scheduling. If you are going on an eating plan, you will have to schedule time to cook. If you want to balance your finances, you will have to plan time to balance your budget. For me it will be scheduling workouts as if they were meetings I can’t miss. Find what your big resolution is and really plan that out over the next day or two.

Choose One Fun Resolution

Not all resolutions should be work! Pick something that you used to enjoy doing but haven’t had as much time or will power to do lately. If you like running (you’re crazy…ahem, sorry!), then join a running club. If you like to be creative, throw a craft party or take an art class. If you enjoy reading (like me), pick out some great books or join a reading challenge. I’m going to be doing the Goodreads self-challenge of 50 books this year. I’m an avid reader but I’ve found I’ve turned to reading my phone more and books. I’m not as fulfilled by this because I actually enjoy getting fully submerged into a story. Whatever you choose, have fun with this resolution!

Choose One “Dream” Resolution

This resolution should be more of a daily encouragement or work towards a bigger goal. If you want a promotion at work, find ways to take on projects to prove you deserve it. If you want to go on a major vacation, start planning the budget and what you’ll do once you’re there. For me, the dream resolution is to write everyday so I can eventually sustain my lifestyle by writing. Besides having a blog, I enjoy writing of any form and like to challenge myself to write a bit everyday. This resolution often forces you to think outside of your comfort zone. While right now you may not think you can, for example, take a month off of work to hike the Coast to Coast trail in England, find ways to work towards that dream.

Keeping Resolutions

So you’ve made your resolutions – great! Now for the truly difficult part. keeping those resolutions. Below are some ways to make your resolutions stick.

Treat Resolutions as Goals with Rewards

Ultimately keeping your resolution will be reward enough, but after your 30th celery stick of the day on January 10th, it might be more difficult to follow this chain of thought. Whatever your resolutions are, treat them as goals with milestones to reach along the way. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier to lose weight, set milestones that encourage you to keep going.   would stress to not only rely on weight loss but to look at things like feeling better, fitting into a pair of pants, or following the eating plan for 10 days straight. Make the rewards proportionate to the achievement and never make the reward the thing you’re trying not do (i.e. treating yourself with food, a few days off of exercising, a couple of cigarettes).

Plan Out Your Resolutions

This goes along with setting goals but if you want to keep the resolutions, you’re going to have to put them into your schedule, at least at first. For example, if you’re fun resolution is reading more, then you will probably need to put into your schedule to read over your lunch break or after work for an hour. Eventually you will get so submerged into your fun resolution that it will start to happen naturally. For the other resolutions you may have to keep scheduling them well into the New Year.

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

We all slip up, especially when it comes to resolutions – otherwise they wouldn’t be resolutions we feel we have to make. Don’t be too hard on yourself. For instance, there are days when I sit down to write and I just stare at the computer, completely lost. It happens, we lose focus or can’t find inspiration.  It’s hard to follow through on your “dream” of going to Spain when you have to replace your car tires but with a little bit of refocus and re-budgetting, you’ll find it’s possible.

Follow Up on Your Resolutions

At the end of January, and hopefully at the end of each month, look back at your resolutions and see where you have done well, where you can do better, and if you need to modify at all. Discuss your progress with your friends and family or write about it personally or publicly. Support can make all the difference.


With a little bit of determination and hard work, you’ll be able to keep your resolutions for a productive and happy 2017!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  Comment below!

Follow me on Instagram to keep tabs on my resolutions, including the tools I’ve already purchased to keep focused!