The Secret to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

**Updated January 2022**

Ready to Break Some New Year’s Resolutions?

We all know how the routine goes. It’s January. You gear up to create an overhaul on your life. So, you make a list of your best New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you want to lose weight or start a retirement fund. Perhaps you want to save up to take a trip with the whole family. Or maybe you want to create some memories by holding a grandma camp – that’s my favorite. Or maybe you just want to have a better relationship with your adult children or long-distance grandchildren.

Okay then. . .let’s get to it! Create that list of New Year’s resolutions. . . Brand new year! Brand new you!

BUT. . .(there’s always a big “but” involved, right?)

Sad but true, most of us will break our resolutions almost faster than we can write them down.

Seriously! The average person will break their New Year’s resolutions within about 3 months. And by summer. . .well, you might as well just kiss it all goodbye!

Let’s face it. Most of us will have forgotten much of what we wanted to accomplish in the first 2 weeks! Then, inevitably, regret and discouragement set in.

Scrabbles tiles spelling out Happy New Year - The secret to keeping your new near's resolutions - Adventures in NanaLand

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So, why is that? Why do we go through this same ugly cycle year after year?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I know what my own problem is (and I guess that perhaps you will have the same reason):

I JUST GET TOO STINKIN’ BUSY!

Please tell me I’m not alone in this. I tend to fill my planner to the max! Do you do that too?

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with planning or with filling your planner, but do you do it at the expense of accomplishing those really important goals that you have set?

(Just a side note: Speaking of planners, if you are in need of a new planner or supplies, check out the options at the end of the post. . .especially if you like THE best stickers ever and pretty, pretty pens – Sorry, I get a little giddy over planner supplies! I just had to share some of my favorite things.)


For me, I have just come off the holidays feeling refreshed having had a break from my normal routine. . .already forgetting the craziness that I call LIFE.

I start the year off with a real fire to get things done, change the things I don’t like, and basically start having delusions of grandeur about creating the perfect life for myself. Then, when my schedule and routine take over. . .BAM! My fire is doused with the mundane, “busy-ness” of life.

Can you relate to this? If you would like to change it, read on my friend. . .

Okay, so I know you don’t mean to neglect your way out of your resolutions, but sadly, those beautiful resolutions lose their luster in the everyday hustle and bustle. They seem unattainable with a hectic schedule, and you usually just resolve to try again next year. . . (cue the sound of a needle scratching across a vinyl record).

“Wait! What? Why wait until next year??”

I had this very thought last year as I broke one of my biggest resolutions by the 3rd week in January. Why do we get caught up in the thought that if we fail at our resolutions, we HAVE to wait until the next January to begin again?

In order to stop this crazy, procrastination train, I decided right then and there on that Thursday in that 3rd week of January, that Friday was a new day. So, why not begin again in the morning? So, on Friday, I began again.

Did I reach my goal in the time frame I had originally set? NO! Of course not! But. . .

I began again. . .and again. . .and again.  Where was I by the end of the year?

Well, I’m happy to say that every time I started over, I was already one step closer to my goal thanks to the progress I had made with my previous attempt. So, by the end of the year, I had crossed the finish line with that one!!

I continued to move forward and eventually, I DID create the habit I was looking for and completed my goal. That habit is now an effortless part of my daily routine.

 

So. . .what’s the secret sauce to keeping new year’s resolutions?

PERSISTENCE!

A proven, foolproof approach to ­­­keeping (or eventually reaching) your New Year’s resolutions!

Don’t let the idea that you broke your resolution or failed at your goal keep you from picking yourself up and just starting again. . .and again. . .and again. . . Don’t wait for January or a new month, or even a new week roll around again. Re-assess where you are and start again right away.

Do you want a few tips to make those resolutions even easier to keep?

Here are 5 EASY suggestions that can help you find success:

  1. Create Smaller Goals – Look, if you want to lose 30 lbs. in 2 months, I can almost guarantee you will soon be discouraged, and you will be drowning your failure in a box of chocolates by Valentine’s Day. So, start out smaller. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Aim for success – even if it’s super small. Try setting a goal to lose just 5 lbs. Now, doesn’t that sound more attainable?? Once you do that, you will be more confident that you will reach your next 5 lbs.
  2. Reward Yourself Along the Way – Reward your small successes! Be sure you celebrate the small victories along the way. Don’t wait until the very end to pat yourself on the back! Back to that losing weight example, go ahead and have a little celebration each time you lose another 5 lbs…just don’t celebrate with junk food. Ha ha! 
  3. Try One Goal at a Time – We often will make several resolutions at the beginning of the year, but this proves to be overwhelming for most people. Too many changes all at once. Keep it simple and give just one thing your full attention. So, go ahead and make your list of all the things you want to accomplish. But. . .then prioritize them and complete them one at a time. By the end of the year, you will be much further ahead.
  4. Ask for Help – Don’t go it alone! If you have support and encouragement from friends and family, you are more likely to succeed. Ask those close to you for a standing ovation when you hit a milestone. Ha ha! (I actually know a group of friends who do this for each other. Awesome!!) If you share your goals with those around you, they will be more encouraging and may even become an outright cheerleader for you!
  5. Give Yourself a Break – None of us are perfect. However, if you are even just a little better today than you were yesterday. . .that’s progress!

 

So, that’s it! 5 super simple things to do that will help you keep those new year’s resolutions. Honestly, you can employ all the awesome things that all the big goal-setting gurus offer, but then take all that good advice and simplify it with the tips above!

Remember, you don’t have to wait for some new beginning to accomplish your goals or keep your resolutions. You can choose when and where to start and what direction you want to go with your plans.

I would love to hear any ideas that have worked for you. Share your tips and successes in the comments below.

Cookies & Milk for Everyone!

Nana Jill Signature with yellow flower

 

 

P.S. Looking for a planner to help keep your New Year’s Resolutions organized? I’m a planner girl. What can I say? After speaking to several of my friends, I discovered that the Bloom Daily Planner is quite popular. Who knew? But, I LOVE it! It lays flat and has a great layout for keeping you organized. It also comes in absolutely beautiful  prints and has inspirational quotes to keep you motivated.

OR

You could keep things simple by using these super cute weekly planner sheets by Day-Timer in a simple half-size notebook or this pretty floral one. If you do a plain notebook with a clear view front, you can add your favorite quote or other printables. And. . .don’t forget the stickers. . .these Carpe Diem ones are my absolute favorites!! (Shhh! I have waaaaay too many of these.) If you like to color-code your daily schedule or just write your notes in all the colors of the rainbow, check out these pretty pens. I really like these pens because they have find tips which makes it easy to write in small spaces.


2 thoughts on “The Secret to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions”

  1. What a encouraging article!! Growing up with my parents and them my Grandmother would often tell me that successful people aren’t the smartest of the bunch but they are the one’s that when they fail they get up again. Every single time they fail they get right back up and try again. Every single time!! Eventually they are successful!! They aren’t giver uppers!! We taught our son this as well. He has Ausberger’s and this was taken to heart by him!! He would work so hard and he made it through college and his Masters. I’m so proud of him never giving up!! We can learn a great deal from people like my son!!! How many kids just give up in school?? With far more compacity to learn. My son has also dealt with slow processing. This also makes learning frustrating for them but he kept going!!! Let’s do what you said. When we fail, set smaller goals, celebrate and keep going!!! Get up everytime we fail. I was told it was impossible for me to lose weight based on three meds I’m on but I lost 50lbs. and I’ve kept it off seven years now!!!! I’m disabled and unable to exercise or even clean my house but I did it you can too!! I followed the 17 Day Diet by a Physician in California that exercises by walking with his patients!!! Wonderful man!!!

    1. Wow! I’m proud of your son too! A Master’s degree is difficult for most people, so for him to accomplish that with some extra challenges is fabulous. And look at you! Losing weight feels so defeating sometimes, but you’re right. You just need the determination to stick with what works. I’m on that journey myself right now. I have a bad knee and losing some weight will help. I have accomplished much in my life using the advice I give here. I’m so glad you found it encouraging.

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