Setting New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.
-Melody Beattie

Why can’t I keep my resolution?

No matter the type of resolution, keeping it past a few months or even weeks can be difficult. But what if we told you that the reason many of these goals fail is because they were set incorrectly? When goals are set improperly, our motivation to complete them may not line up with our motivation for the desired end state that the goal was meant to resemble. A resolution that is set too broadly or with too many components can make it difficult to stay on track. This is why setting the resolution is the first step to actually keeping it for the sought-after amount of time.  

How to keep your 2018 resolutions

Creating goals that stick past January start with figuring out what the purpose of your goal is. Rather than taking something away from your life such as “lose weight”, concentrate on making the goal of your resolution positive. For example, you may want to set a goal to “live healthier” rather than “stop drinking”.

Working on multiple goals at once is difficult to manage and can make you feel overwhelmed. Instead, try making small step commitments that will eventually lead up to your resolution. Rewarding yourself as you complete each step will not only help you feel more accomplished but also stay motivated to reach your ultimate goal.

Remember that setbacks are normal and avoid beating yourself up. Most of the time, these deep-rooted resolutions such as “living healthier” mean creating new habits and removing old ones. Hiccups are bound to happen, so when they do, stay motivated and remind yourself how far you’ve come.

21st century goal-setting

Screenshot of Strides app for setting resolutionsScreenshot of Habitica app for setting resolutions

Tracking your resolution has been made easy thanks to a few app developers and your cellphone. Goal-setting apps are the perfect solution to keeping your resolutions at the forefront of your priorities by making you visually accountable.

Some Apps that Might Help
Strides is an app that allows you to clearly track your resolution progress with statistics on how you are doing. Their SMART goal tracker and reminders hold you accountable during the day and keep you motivated.

Habitica is another great platform that gamifies the process of achieving goals. The concept of the application is a role-playing game. When you complete a task, the game rewards you with, for example, a brand new sword to defeat your enemies.

Looking to better yourself this year and work on improving many areas in your life? Counselling might also be the right fit to help you flourish in 2018. Learn about our counselling services and offerings here.

References

Keeping New Year’s resolutions. (2016, January 14). UWIRE Text, p. 1. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.proxy.bib.uottawa.ca/apps/doc/A439894405/AONE?u=otta77973&sid=AONE&xid=0277d973

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