You might not consider yourself as someone who struggles with commitment if you’re in a stable relationship, but commitment issues go beyond dating. Many people struggle to form commitment in other areas of their life, such as diet, exercise, and self-care. This is apparent in how difficult it can be to commit to common New Year’s resolutions. Keeping a resolution is hard, but it doesn’t have to be with these helpful commitment tips! We have six tips that will help you commit to your resolutions this year.
1. Make sure your resolution is timely.
The beginning of a new year is a good time to make a resolution because you know millions of people are doing the same thing. This sense of solidarity with others can be very motivating. However, other factors can influence the timeliness of your resolution. If you foresee any roadblocks to achieving your resolution, such as upcoming travel, financial commitments, or a demanding work/school schedule, you may want to reconsider when to start your resolution. Timing is everything, and choosing the right time to start your resolution will improve your chances of keeping it. If you have a hectic schedule at the beginning of January, consider waiting until mid- or late January to begin.
2. Be realistic.
An important tip for success when you choose a resolution is to be realistic. Set a goal or choose to make a behavior change that you see yourself following through on. A realistic mindset will benefit you in the long run by enabling you to set goals you can actually achieve. If you choose an unrealistic resolution, the chance of disappointment will be higher. For example, a common New Year’s resolution is to be better at saving money. You might dream of having $10,000 in your savings account by the end of the year, and that’s a great aspiration, but make sure your monthly saving goal aligns with your income. YouTuber Megan Minns has some additional advice on setting realistic goals in the video below:
3. Make a plan to achieve your resolution.
One of my favorite sayings is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Let that sink in for a moment. If your plan is no plan at all, then you might as well guarantee failure. Creating a plan is the first step toward success and achievement. The other benefit of creating a plan is that every time you check one of the boxes or complete a step, you will feel a bit of satisfaction. Each time you get closer, that satisfaction will build until you finally meet your goal. A plan to commit to your resolution can include numbered steps, a checklist, a tally of daily tasks, a list of habits, or any other incremental approach to your resolution.
4. Make a public declaration.
A public declaration of your New Year’s resolution will make you feel accountable to keep it. Announce your resolution on social media and tell your friends and family. After you’ve told others about your resolution, don’t forget to ask them to help you keep it. Let them know what they can do to help you reach your goal. They will want to give you support and encouragement. They might even ask how you’re doing with your resolution next time they see you. In addition to public declarations, you can also make a private declaration by writing your resolution down on paper. Writing down your resolution can be a powerful step in forming commitment to achieve it.
5. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Any time we try to change something about ourselves or about our behavior, we’re going to come up against some obstacles. There’s a chance that we might fail, mess up, or make a mistake along the way, and that’s OK. Anticipating that we won’t be perfect can help us take the pressure off ourselves. Know that it’s OK to mess up as long as you keep trying. Don’t give up on your resolution after a few setbacks. Give yourself a pep talk and try again!
6. Reward yourself.
Increase your motivation by promising yourself a reward for keeping your resolution. A cheat day during your diet, a new outfit after you’ve met your savings goal, or a night out with friends after you ace an exam can make you feel more driven to commit to your resolution and to stick with it long after the new year. The benefits of a reward system have been proven in business situations and can benefit you in your personal life, as well. An enjoyable reward will cause you to associate positive emotions with the actions that help you keep your resolution.
Use these six tips to commit to your New Year’s resolution. Whether you have commitment issues or not, making a change is hard! These tips will help, so try them out and share them with a friend.