How to Stay Accountable to Your New Year’s Resolutions in Five Easy Steps

Only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions according to Forbes. Why is this? Why is it so hard for us to hold ourselves accountable?

Well, Today I have 5 things that can help you keep your resolutions alive all year long.

Only Choose 3 Things to Focus on

Most people choose too many things to focus on for resolutions. They may want to lose weight, save money, pay off a credit card, shop less, cook at home more, so on and so on. The problem is, there are too many goals. When you try to do too many things well, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fail. So choose three things. The three most important things to you that you want to achieve over the next year. This way, you can stay focused on only three resolutions. When we narrow our focus, we are more likely to succeed.

Start Slow and Build

Be REALISTIC with how you start. For example, if you want to start going to a gym and you have not currently had a gym routine, do not set a goal of working out five times per week. Chances are, you will go the first day/week, get really sore or pull something and eventually throw in the towel because it’s too much on your body. If a huge issue comes up at work and you miss two days, you may throw in the towel because you haven’t been able to keep your word to yourself to go five days per week. Your best bet is to start with 2 or 3 days per week. After a month, if it has been doable, increase by one day and try that for a few weeks. Build up to the ultimate goal of five times per week.

Same goes for saving money. If you haven’t ever been a saver, don’t delegate $200 per paycheck to a savings account if you know you will probably be transferring that same money back to your checking account shortly after. Try starting with $5 per paycheck. This way, it builds the habit of saving. After about a month, increase to $10, then $20, and so on and so forth.

Remember, if these are New Year’s resolutions, these are most likely areas you struggle with for improvement. So setting goals too high will set you up for failure. If you are realistic with your goals, they are easier to achieve and grow. This keeps us motivated and excited to keep going since we have now seen we can be successful.

Set Reminders to Stay Accountable

Make. A. Plan. It’s that simple. If this is something you really want, fill up that Google calendar for the next 6 months with “check-ins”. If you want to cook more at home twice per week, put those two days in your calendar for the next 6 months. That way you will have reminders popping up and you’ll plan for these days. If you want to put $5 in your savings every paycheck, put that reminder in on every payday Friday. This way, when you’re in a lull which we all hit when we are striving for a long term goal, you’ll have that reminder and that kick to put you back on track.

When You Mess Up, Get Back on Track Immediately

If you mess up on Wednesday and have a cheat meal, DO NOT wait until Monday to “start over”! Focus on that next meal. Make a plan. Use your cheat meal as a motivator to do better. Don’t allow one meal to ruin the success you’ve had thus far!

Same with saving. If you went shopping during a week you said you wouldn’t, don’t dwell on it. It happened! Now it’s time to make a plan! What can you do in your week to save money? Cancel a night out? Sell a pair of shoes you haven’t worn in a year?

Make it a PRIORITY 

Your three goals have to be something you really want. They have to be a priority. If you see challenges getting in the way, address those challenges. Find support. I recently had a baby and I wanted to get back to my pre-baby weight. It was a priority for me. My husband and I worked out a schedule for me to get back in the gym. I made sure we had groceries in the house to accommodate my goal. We definitely ran into challenges. When I couldn’t make it to the gym because something came up, we planned for it to happen the next day. If we had an unhealthy dinner, I planned out meals for the next day to be sure I stayed on my routine. These resolutions have to be important to you. They must stay a top priority. Success does not come easy, or no one would know failure.

I do believe this is the way to join the successful 8%. This article will help you find a way to stay focused, feel less guilty if you fall off track, start small, and be successful reaching your goals! We all have the desire for change and the drive for success. It’s just having the right tools to teach us how to get there!

How to Travel in Iceland Affordably

One of the most beautiful places we have ever traveled is Iceland. I never like to visit a place twice because there is so much in the world to see, but I would definitely go back to Iceland.

Some of the questions that seem to come up when looking into traveling to Iceland are:

-How can I do this affordably?

-When can I go to see the northern lights?

-Where should I stay?

-Should I do tours or rent a car and explore?

Well… I can tell you how we chose to travel Iceland and I am SO glad we did it the way we did.

First off, we did not stay in hotels. The hotels I researched were around $300-500/night! That is just outrageous for us. If you have read any of our previous travel posts you know we backpack, stay in hostels, or go with our cheapest hotel options.

This time, we used Airbnb and it was amazing. We had never used it internationally, but I’m glad we took the risk! We booked multiple cabins/apartments throughout the country for different days. This was usually around $100/night. It’s not hostel price, but much more affordable than staying in hotels. Our Airbnbs were all fantastic! Here is a look at our first cabin.

Isn’t this beautiful?! It was a one bedroom cabin, very isolated, surrounded by sheep and horses… I. Was. In. Love. We were tucked away in the country side, and sure enough, we got to see what we came all this way to see. The Northern Lights!!

This was the view from our cabin that evening. My husband and I couldn’t believe it! And little did we know, it only got better for us as the days went on.

So this is one of the questions I read about… “When can I go to see the lights?”

Well, we went at the end of October for my husband’s birthday and we were afraid it would be too early, but it definitely wasn’t! We got to see the lights multiple times throughout our stay. More pictures to come!

By staying in these cabins, not only did we get to watch the light show from our bed, but we were able to buy groceries and cook every night which saved a ton of money.

Eating in restaurants was so expensive compared to what I’m used to. Restaurants could run you $50-$100 a meal! Well, that’s if it wasn’t a Subway… So hubby and I meal planned what we would eat and purchased it all at local grocery stores. This put us between $50-$100 for the whole trip.

Examples of what we ate were:

Breakfasts:
-Cereal/almond milk
-Eggs
-Granola bars

Lunches:
-PB & J often!
-Chips
-Granola bars
-Jerky
-Nuts

Dinners:
-Spaghetti and meat sauce (multiple nights)
-We did spot a Quizno’s running a deal for one large sandwich with a drink and chips for $10 and we shared it a few times.

The next thing I am SO glad we did was RENT A CAR! The country is so beautiful and peaceful and never crowded. So traffic was NEVER an issue. We also got to go visit sites and see things on our own time. My husband and I are GO-GO-GO people. As soon as we land in a country, we want to see everything and waste no time. So often enough, we create a list of things to explore and map it out. This worked fantastic for us.

*Note: If you do rent a car in Iceland, they are all pretty much manual transmission vehicles. If you aren’t sure how to drive a stick, definitely get some lessons in before you arrive! Or talk with you rental car company about alternatives.

Here are some of the things we saw…

Driving to tourist spots, we got to see beautiful mountains and sunsets.
Geysir

The Geysir and the steam fields were so neat to see. They are in an area called the Golden Circle which is home to quite a few fun and interesting sites. We arrived at the end of the day so the sun began to set which made for fabulous pictures.

More Geysir
Steam Fields

I mean how gorgeous is that???

Gulfoss Falls

I would highly recommend planning to see the Geysir and Gulfoss in the same day. They are extremely close to one another and would make for a 2-in-1 trip.

Þingvellir National Park
Tectonic Plate Split
Waterfall at the end of the walking trail through the tectonic plates
Lava Bubble

We began a trek across the country towards a highly desired tourist spot called Diamond Beach in Jokulsarlon. It would take us about 4 hours one way, but the country side was amazing to see. There were glaciers, waterfalls, and black sand beaches! I was quite worth it to see.

Glaciers are everywhere!
Black Sand Beach in Vik

This black sand beach was the coolest thing to see. I’ve been to Hawaii where they claim to have black sand and green sand beaches on the Big Island, but that did not even compare to this!

And then we finally made it to our destination… Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach!

Glacier Lagoon

I have never seen “icebergs” before… Only in movies really. So it was surreal to actually see huge pieces of ice floating around and seals bobbing around them.

Diamond Beach

This is one of my favorite travel pictures we’ve taken. This beach was worth every minute of driving we did.

Our last stop was the city of Reykjavik. We explored the city around the bay. This is where we ate out more mostly because we were only here about 24 hours. Plus it was my husband’s birthday so we shouldn’t have PB & J right?

Nothing like hot tea on the patio.
Since my career revolves around food, I couldn’t help but snap this quote.

As we went back to our little apartment to rest up and get ready for our flight out the following day, we got to see the most beautiful light show over the ocean.

This was the perfect end to our 10 day Iceland excursion. We took this photo sitting on our back patio of our little Airbnb apartment sipping hot tea in our pajamas. It was so incredible that we got to watch these dancing lights for hours. It doesn’t even look real as you are watching it in real time.

I hope you’ve gathered what you come to this article to read! You can travel affordably and smart. Just plan and budget!

Happy travels!