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!