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Opinion

The Science of New Year's Resolutions: 5 Easy Ways to Stay on Track

January 25, 2019
Rachel Hale

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Some Holiday traditions may come and go, but New Year’s resolutions aren’t going out of style anytime soon. Year after year, people make resolutions like “I am going to spend more time in nature” or “I promise to be healthier this year” following their Turkey dinners. Now that New Years has passed, the real challenge begins: How do you keep your resolution?
According to 2017 research from a Statistics.com, survey of over a thousand Americans,53% of people I made their goal of 2018 to save money. Losing weight or getting in shape is a close second at 45%. But o matter what your goal is this year, motivation and organization are key skills for staying on track.

Here are five easy tips to use while maintaining your resolutions:

1. Be Specific When Goal Setting:

Make sure that your goals are achievable by laying out a plan for how you can achieve them. For example, if trying to save money, clarify how you will take action- through going out to eat less, buying fewer clothes, taking advantage of sales, etc. By narrowing down how you reach your goal, you will help keep yourself on track and avoid distractions.

2. Make a Timeline for Your Goals

Another important part of sticking to your resolution is setting a realistic timeline. For instance, if your goal is to get in better shape, maybe you will attempt to improve your mile time by five seconds in six months, and ten seconds in twelve months.

BONUS TIP: Using numerical data will help your mind process your goals, and will help keep you motivated to improve.

3. Keep Track of Your Progress

When keeping a resolution, loss of motivation is bound to happen. When something falls out of place, it is important to have a motivator to fall back on. This could be weekly progress photos taken at the gym, writing samples taken over the course of time, or a spreadsheet of economic activity. By keeping track of your progress you will remember why the resolution is so important to you in the first place.

4. Keep it Real

A resolution may be small, fun, or exciting, but one thing it is not known for is being easy. It is important to remain patient. If you want to give up, remember how far you’ve come and how far you could be by this time next year. However, if you overestimate your power, it is equally important to know how to modify your goal- maybe instead of aiming for six days of working out, you aim for five because you know you’ll be too busy. It is important to be realistic and take the goal one step at a time because if not, it will feel overwhelming and unmanageable.

5. Hold Yourself Accountable

Another core aspect of keeping resolutions is accountability. You and a friend could send each other motivational texts or even become in-person work out buddies. While each person has a reminder to stay on track this way, the results benefit both you and a friend.

Rachel Hale is a BBG from Great Midwest Region and is an aspiring journalist.

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