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How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

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Do you make New Year’s resolutions every year, only to stick to them for a few weeks?

If so, you’re not alone. It has been said that less than 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions.

My secret to setting resolutions that actually stick? Don’t set resolutions at all.

Here’s why we don’t like resolutions:

  • We typically bite off more than we can chew. Resolutions are often too big, feel unrealistic, and lack an action plan.
  • Resolutions are typically set for the entire year but our true goals often change throughout a year’s time.  As our lives and circumstances change, so do our goals. This often makes resolutions no longer fit.  Rather than shifting into new goals, we often feel like we “failed” our resolutions when, in reality, we just need new goals.

Instead of making resolutions for the year, try taking it month by month or week by week.   Because realistically, it’s impossible to plan out your entire year in one day.

A helpful strategy for creating actionable goals for the start of the new year is to have a big-picture idea of how you want to feel and what you want to accomplish by the end of 2022. But don’t stop there – break these big picture goals down into smaller, attainable steps. These smaller steps make it seem less overwhelming to take those first steps to achieve those goals.

For example, if your big picture goal is to feel energized by the end of 2022, your smaller goals might include drinking more water, working out, and working with a functional medicine practitioner like Dr. Dan to get to the root cause of why you’re not feeling energetic now. These are smaller, more tangible goals so it feels easier to start today working on them.

Want to take it a step further? Set practical deadlines for when you will accomplish each step. This gives you something to stay accountable to and will give you a mapped-out idea of how your next few weeks or month will look like. This allows you to plan your days (including writing it into your schedule to really enforce it) and prepare, which sets you up for success.

Planning smaller, attainable goals not only makes it more manageable and less daunting, but it also gives you breathing room to adjust as your life changes. If we’ve learned anything in the last two years, it’s that life can change in an instant. Creating smaller goals and re-evaluating them frequently allows you to shift your goals to best fit your current circumstances and needs.

Other helpful things to consider:

  • Documenting your progress – this allows you to see the progress you’re making, which is motivating in itself. Tracking milestones help you realistically check in with where you are in your journey.
  • Consider your why – make sure you are deciding goals that are important to YOU, not goals that are important to others around you or society
  • Grab a partner – achieving goals with a partner helps keep you accountable, provides support, and you aren’t going it alone (or working with a health coach, as we offer at COCFM)
  • Check-in with your budget – make sure your goals fit your financial budget and time budget so that way they remain achievable, without adding extra stress

Above all, give yourself grace each step of the way. It’s not about doing things perfectly, but instead doing things consistently and feeling good while doing it.