How to Set New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

Setting goals
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Year after year, millions of people set New Year’s resolutions with the intention of improving their health and wellbeing, only to abandon said resolutions by the middle of January. While it’s true that making lasting changes is easier said than done, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. If you’d like to use 2024 as an opportunity to set resolutions you’ll actually keep, read on for some of our best tips. 

Be Specific

Vague resolutions lead to vague results. Goals like “get fit” means something different to everyone, so it’s essential to be as specific as possible if you’re serious about actually following through. For example, “exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week,” provides more clarity in a way that makes it easier to track your progress. Each time you exercise, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and be more motivated to continue your effort.

Set Realistic Milestones

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and while there’s nothing wrong with setting your sights high, choosing overly ambitious resolutions is a guaranteed way to set yourself up for frustration. Within the context of your larger aims, define bite-sized goals that are large enough to keep you motivated, yet small enough to create momentum. No one can lose 20 pounds in a week, but we can all make incremental changes like swapping out fries for a salad at dinner or taking the stairs over the elevator.

Consistency Over Intensity

When it comes to keeping resolutions long-term, sporadic bursts of effort will only take you so far. Knowing how to build sustainable habits is a lifelong skill that can be used to create change in any area of life and is crucial for maintaining your success over time. Focus on small, regular actions that you can commit to without overextending yourself. For example, if your resolution is to read more, aim to read 20 pages a day instead of an entire book each week.