How to Make a New Year’s Resolution – that sticks 

[read time: 3 minutes] / LISTICLE 

We all make them, we all break them: New Year’s resolutions. 

This year, I share some tips that have helped me make my resolutions more manageable – and therefore something I’m liable to keep up for the first one or two months of the year. 

This is a modified version of goal-setting using the SMART method: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. That acronym first appeared in Management Review journal in 1981 and is still relevant and used today. 

  1. Make it realistic

A way of determining if your resolution is realistic is to ask: is it concrete? Is it achievable? Can it be broken down into smaller chunks? 

for example – instead of 
eat a vegetable with every meal every day 
try 
eat a vegetable with one meal a day

2. Make it manageable 

If time management is not your skill, welcome to my club. A manageable goal is easier to achieve, and then you won’t feel guilty if you don’t hit it every day. Hopefully. You can also entice yourself into finishing with the promise of a reward

for example – instead of 
write 1,000 words every day
try
write 300 words Monday – Friday 

3. Make it specific 

We all want to finish our novels. But, just saying so does not make it true. A resolution that is too general will not be as easily achievable: where do you start? How do you measure it?

instead of 
finish my novel
try
write 300 words Monday – Friday 

4. Choose one goal and make it the right one for you 

It’s admirable to want to take it all on. However, the more you take on, the less time you have. Ask yourself: are you making this goal for you or is it because society wants you to

instead of
save the world
try
donate to a charity once a month

5. Modify as needed 

A good way to keep track of your goal and see if it is working is by breaking it down into something measurable. Journal what you feel and reflect on what is working. It is okay to change your goals – if you consistently try to achieve them. 

By no means is this list exhaustive; there is also the psychology behind what drives us to make New Year’s resolutions. 

What works for you? Leave a comment below. Happy New Year! 

Published by Erica Black

Erica was born with a rare disease called an arteriovenous malformation in her right leg. She is now an advocate for those with disabilities. She left the corporate world in 2016 to pursue a career as a high school English teacher and began to blog along the way. She has a BA in English Lit and minor in Creative Writing. Her writing has been featured in The Martlet, The Globe and Mail, Heroica, and more. She enjoys cats, reading, and her daughter.

2 thoughts on “How to Make a New Year’s Resolution – that sticks 

  1. So many resolutions fail because people (myself included) try to make huge changes overnight. Small changes have a much better chance of succeeding. (Go for small walks 3 times a week as opposed to big hikes every week)

    Liked by 1 person

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