How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Personal Trainer working with clients to stick to resolutions

We’re well into 2020 now, so how are your resolutions coming along? If your answer makes you cringe a little, then it may be time to rework them a little to get back on track and stick with your resolutions. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Four out of five Americans who make new year’s resolutions break them by the end of January. So how do you refresh your resolutions so they become ones that you can actually stick to?

Be Specific

The top resolutions made in 2019 were to lose weight, eat healthier/exercise more and save money/pay off debt. Maybe these were some of your resolutions and they’re a great starting point! The issue is that they are all extremely vague and don’t have a solid way to measure success. How much weight do you want to lose? How much money do you want in your savings account by the end of the year? What defines “eating healthier”? Completely getting rid of refined sugar or only eating out a maximum of twice a week? The key to making resolutions that you can actually stick to is getting specific with what exactly you want to achieve.

Try using the SMART goal method, which involves making a goal that is:

  • Specific – Do you want to lose weight in order to feel good about yourself by your beach vacation in July? Or have enough in savings to be able to buy a new car priced at a certain amount? Get specific about what you hope to actually achieve with these goals.
  • Measurable – Measure your goals by a concrete number, such as lose 20 pounds, put $5000 in savings, only eat out two times a week.
  • Achievable – Do you have the resources to actually achieve this goal? Your goals should be challenging, but not so abstract that you can’t actually achieve them. Define them well.
  • Realistic – Make sure your goals are realistic. You’re probably not going to cook every single meal at home or wake up every day at 5am to exercise. Making unreasonable goals is just setting yourself up for failure.
  • Time-bound – This goes back making measurable goals. Give yourself a deadline that you can work towards, not just a vague idea that you want to achieve this year.

Break It Up

Making a big and lofty goal can be overwhelming and often keep people from wanting to start on the goal at all. So take another look at your resolutions and make it easier for yourself by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable goals.

Was your resolution to lose weight? Great, so think about how you would start that! Joining a gym, such as the YMCA, would be an easy first step. From there, you can start to set other goals, such as attending two group fitness classes per week.

Is your resolution to save X amount of money by the end of the year, but you haven’t even started towards it because it seems impossible given your current financial situation? Start small by making your coffee from home every other day instead of hitting Starbucks or just putting away $10 per week and working your way up. Those are much more reasonable adjustments and once you’ve got the hang of that, continue to make more small changes. Once you’ve achieved your first small goal, reward yourself and continue to make more little goals and soon, you’ll be on your way to conquering your overall resolution!

Write It Down

On New Year’s Day, after your killer celebration the night before, you probably tiredly mumbled your resolutions to be healthier and go to bed earlier, but if that’s as far as you got, it makes sense that you haven’t achieved your goal yet. Writing your resolutions down makes them a lot more concrete and real than just saying them. So, right now, write all your resolutions down and put them somewhere that you’ll see them often! Make a graphic with your goals and save it as your lock screen on your phone. Or write them down in your planner each week to remind yourself of what you’re working towards. Having your resolutions materialized somewhere instead of just in the back of your mind will help you remember that these are real goals that you pledged to achieve.

Enlist Support

You don’t have to go through this big change all by yourself. You’re not alone in any of this and there are plenty of ways you can build yourself a support system to help keep you on track with your resolutions. Tell your family about your money-saving goals so that they are conscious of why you are making certain decisions. Find a gym buddy that helps hold you accountable when it seems extra hard to get out of bed and go to the gym. You can even enlist professional help, such as a financial advisor to help you get strategic in saving your money, or a personal trainer to build an exercise plan and help you achieve your goals- every step of the way.

It’s not too late to get back on track and stick to your new year’s resolutions. It also doesn’t have to be a difficult or stressful experience! Just revamp your resolutions to be specific and break them down into smaller goals to allow yourself an easy path to achieve them. The YMCA of Greater Williamson County is here to support you in all your new year’s resolutions through our health and wellness programs available to all members. Let the Y help keep you on track through your journey to healthier and happier living in 2020.