Ten time-tested secrets for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions

The start of a year is a powerful time to assess what we have achieved and make resolutions as to what we want for our lives in the year that is about to begin. New years are like fresh, white sheets with nothing written on them: we have the chance, yet again, to imagine what we want and make plans towards achieving what we dream of.

However, it is easier to make resolutions than to stick to them. Depressing stat: 25% of people give up after only a few days. More than half throw in the towel within a few months…and fewer than 8% ever cross the finish line.

We usually begin the year with a great deal of energy and self-discipline, both of which tend to fade around March and are entirely forgotten when June begins. And then, when the end of the year is approaching, we get angry with ourselves and promise we’ll try harder next year. Does it sound familiar? If so, don’t beat yourself up. It happens to everyone. But it doesn’t have to.

This year you could be one of the individuals who actually sticks to her resolutions and ends the year feeling enthusiastic about how much you achieved. How? By using one or more of these ten, time-tested secrets for making good intentions stick.

1. Keep Things Real

Look, if your goals are not grounded in any kind of reality, they are just wishes, pure and simple. For example, if you are not used to exercise, your chances of winning a marathon within the next year are pretty much slim to none. But if your resolution is to finish a marathon, the probability is much, much higher. Stretch yourself, but don’t untether your goal from reality.

2. Own it

Make sure that achieving your resolutions depends only on you. You can get as much help as you need along the way from coaches and buddies, but in the end, you are the sole person responsible for your own success.

3. Motivate Yourself Every Day

Keep a list of your resolutions on a visible place. Create a Pinterest pinboard. Write your top goals at the top of every to-do list. You need to keep your long-term objectives visible on an every day basis to ensure your daily to-do list actually includes the steps required to reach them.

4. Break Your Big Goal Down Into Smaller Milestones

If you plan to achieve something by the end of the year, think of milestones that will help you keep tabs on your success. Outline monthly goals or even weekly targets, so you know exactly where you are regarding your final goal.

5. Track Your Progress

Keeping a journal is a fantastic way to assess what you achieve and to help you get organized. It also helps when you need to change your strategy. You are less likely to forget your resolutions if they are written, and documenting the process will help you learn about your own experiences and build for the future.

6. Enlist Supporters

Get a “resolution buddy” or two and encourage each other to stick to your resolutions. Talk about what you have already achieved and what you still need and listen to other points of view about your experience. In our experience running Buttoned Up Boot Camps (www.ButtonedUpBootcamp.com), this has proved invaluable – when people feel accountable to another person, they will usually jump through hoops to ensure they follow through on time.

7. Carve Out Time in Your Schedule

When you are dealing with million of things simultaneously, it is harder to make time for your personal resolutions. Organize your day in a detailed, daily schedule that will help you figure out how to make time for yourself. Get your free printable daily schedule tool at GetButtonedUp.com/Tools

8. Reward Yourself

Each time you complete one of your milestones, reward yourself with something you truly like. It may be as simple as a piece of chocolate or a manicure, but rewards are a marvelous way to incentivize yourself to stay the course.

9. Get Help

You do not have to do everything yourself. In fact, most people who successfully achieve their goals are quick to point to others who helped them along the way. Think about those aspects in which you may need some extra help and get it. If possible, hire people who are experts in what you don’t know instead of thinking you will be able to do it all.

10. Get Rest

Really! Tired people are not productive. If you want to do so much that you never have time to rest, your chances of achieving your goals are significantly reduced, and if you are constantly worn out, it will seem easier to forget about your resolutions.

Finally, when the end of the year approaches again, be sure to assess what you achieved and enjoy your success before making new plans.

What is on your resolution list?