Campus Rec's Tips for Creating New Year's Resolutions

How to Create (and Stick to) a New Year’s Resolution

It’s the end of December, which means it’s time to start creating some goals for the new year. Whether you write them down and create an action plan or subconsciously think, “I should do (insert resolution here) this year,” chances are you’ve been thinking about some changes for the upcoming year. The one big problem with New Year’s resolutions is that about 80% fall through the cracks throughout the year, sometimes within the first month! Keep reading for some tips on how to create AND keep your resolutions.

How to create a New Year’s Resolution:
Achieving a personal goal is all about knowing yourself – only you will know what your needs are and how to put together a plan you’ll stick with. Remember, everyone’s success will look different. It’s ok to get inspiration from other people, but don’t focus on comparing your progress to others. Here are the steps to building a healthy goal:

  1. Brainstorm: Think about what you wanted to achieve in the past and how you want your new year to look. Some broad areas you can classify your goals into are fitness, mental health, and personal achievement. Or you could focus your resolutions around the eight dimensions of wellness (check out our other blog posts for more information on each dimension).
  2. Condense: Once you have a long list of goals, condense them into 5-8 main goals. Try to stick to the lower side so you can keep your focus on a smaller list.
  3. Make your goals measurable: When you attach a number, amount, and specifics to your resolution, it’s easier to create an action plan. It also helps to put a timeline on your goals, whether it is the entire year or just a month.
  4. Make your goals ambitious, yet realistic: When creating a goal, make sure that it is something that will be challenging to achieve, but not so challenging that you know it’s out of reach or you’ll give up on it.
  5. Action Plan: Write down your goals and create a plan to achieve them, so you will not go into the year blindly. Create specific steps, timelines, and checkpoints that will lead you to achieve your resolutions.

How to start and keep a New Years Resolution

How to keep a New Year’s Resolution:
Coming up with a goal is easy, but sticking to your plan can be challenging. Here are three techniques for following through on your resolutions:

  1. Visibility: Create a way to see your goals frequently. Some options are putting it as a wallpaper on your phone/computer or creating a physical resolution board that you hang up in your room.
  2. Accountability: Find an accountability partner. When you express your resolutions to someone else and ask them to help keep you on track to reach your goals, it can make everything so much easier!
  3. Track your progress: You can use your phone or pen and paper, but track your progress on achieving your goals. An action plan with specific steps is a great way to track your progress – set reminders in your phone or calendar for periodic check-ins.

Our final tip: it’s ok to fail. Not every goal or plan will be airtight. You may find your timelines are too quick, or your goal isn’t actually bringing you happiness. Or you may need to adjust to situations that are out of your control (hello, global pandemic). Failing is just a part of life, and you might find that the failures teach you more about yourself than the successes. Don’t worry if your plans don’t come together this year – resiliency is just as important as achievement.

Welcome to 2021! We hope that you create some ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them this year!