How to follow through with New Year’s resolutions

We all hear the phrase “new year, new me” a few days in January every year. That being said, it is very hard to keep our New Year’s resolutions. There are many factors that prevent people from achieving these goals, but old habits are at the forefront. Once people settle into a routine or have stayed in the same one for a long period of time, it can be hard to change it overnight. According to the University of Scranton, roughly 8 percent of people meet their resolutions. Here are some tips to become a part of that group and expand it.

First, make your goals specific. How many times have we heard, “I want to cut back on fast food,” and thought it would happen? Sometimes people do cut back, but not having a solid number is going to leave a lot to interpretation. Sure, you may have eaten out less, but by how much? Once you establish a base value, you can compare your own results. If you establish that you want to eat fast food no more than four times a month, then that can be measured.

Second, take baby steps. Say you want to lose weight this year. There is no way you can lose 20 pounds in a short period of time without drastically changing many aspects of your life. Breaking it down is much easier on your mind and body. Think about having a net weight loss of two pounds after a month. That net weight loss will add up if you stay on top of your diet and exercise. By the end of the year, your goal will be achieved.

Next is to track your goals. Use whatever method works best, but writing down your progress seems to be the popular method. Physically looking at a personally made graph or diary of information can tell you how far along you are on your path to success.

Finally, there has to be a motivating factor or some drive to succeed. It may be better to think that your losing weight will benefit your significant other in addition to yourself. Not everyone has to have a specific individual that motivates them, but a cause instead. Assume you want to get higher grades this semester. Achieving this may not directly benefit anyone else, but your resolution is for a good cause. Higher grades can set you up for scholarships to help pay for school.

Regardless of what your resolutions are, keep in mind that not everything can be done in a short period of time. For those resolutions, take baby steps in approaching them as well as track your progress. Above all, keep the desire to succeed alive.