From dangerous fad diets to quitting smoking cold turkey – we’ve all done something like it. We’ve sworn we’ll do something trivial like lose weight, exercise daily, or cut out every single piece of junk food imaginable. I’m guilty of this for sure… And yet somehow every year ends exactly like the last, inhaling a takeaway on the sofa while paying for an overpriced gym membership that I’ve used twice. However, I’m not the only guilty one. 80% of New Year’s resolutions are out of the window by February, with only 8% of people managing to maintain them all year round. Why is this you ask? We make them too drastic, that’s why! Many fail to see that we can’t expect a miraculous change in our habits and routines just because the last digit of the date has changed. So, if you’ve got some resolutions in mind, keep reading for four helpful tips on how to actually stick to them in 2019!

Image courtesy of Brooke Lark

Tip no.1: Take baby steps.
Making our New Year’s resolutions achievable is essential! By setting ourselves unrealistic goals, we’ll only be more disappointed when we can’t reach them. Let’s take improving our grades for example. Instead of trying to go from an F to an A+ in a matter of days, start small and revise an extra hour or so each week. This way, by setting a manageable task, you will increase our self-efficacy. This encourages us to carry on with it, because we believe we can do it!

Tip no.2: Don’t do it alone.
Make New Year’s resolutions with friends! This always helps me, because as well as not wanting to let yourself down, you don’t want to let your friends down. This strategy works well with resolutions such as quitting smoking. As this is notoriously difficult, instead of trying to do it alone, encourage a few friends or family members to do it alongside you. This way you can give and receive support from people who are going through the exact same thing as you.

Image courtesy of nobhilldesign via Instagram.

Tip no.3: Voice it!
Don’t keep your New Year’s resolutions to yourself. Talk about them with family and friends. Post about it on Facebook, whatever gets the word out! The more people that know about your goal, the harder it is for you to fail. It’s amazing what human beings will do to avoid embarrassment. Use that energy to really help you achieve your goals in 2019!

Tip no.4: Be kind to yourself.
This one is quite possibly the most important one. In any journey there are slip-ups. The same goes for New Year’s resolutions. So, what if you skip the gym for a week? Appreciate the rest and get back to the hard work next week! If we feel as though we’ve failed, it makes the task ahead all the more daunting, so inevitably discourages us from carrying on. Instead of constantly beating yourself up over bumps in the road, accept your mistakes an just work on getting back on track!

Image courtesy of Keila Hötzel

I hope these few tips were helpful. It’s important to remember that we are who we are, so considering our strengths and weaknesses when making our New Year’s resolutions is the only way to succeed and still enjoy ourselves.

Most importantly, have a happy New Year everybody!