How to really make your New Year’s resolutions stick

If you look at the gym parking lot in February, you’ll notice it’s a lot emptier than in January. Obviously, buoyed by the motivation of a new year and that resolution to get fit and lose weight, a lot of people hit the gym enthusiastically, only to fall back a bit as the months go on. As a mom, sticking to the resolutions might be a bit harder, as you might not be able to allocate the time to getting fit or learning a new course.

What if we simplified our resolutions a bit, and broke them down? Instead of tackling a big list all at once, we allocate a month to ticking off something that we want to achieve. This way, you might have more time and energy to achieve each goal, and instead of “giving up” in February, you could be moving on to fulfilling your next resolution.

You’ll constantly be trying and working towards your goals throughout the year, and by breaking things up into bits, you’re more likely to achieve them. Some of them might be once-off (for example getting your admin in order), while others you can try to work towards throughout the year (for example exercising or saving money). The point is to start small, be realistic and make your way steadily through the new year.

Here’s what your resolutions could look like (PS: they don’t have to be fitness or weight-related!)

  • Budget better
  • Set aside more money towards savings
  • Read more books
  • Get fitter
  • Get your admin in order – for example getting your will in order and updating insurance policies
  • Drink more water
  • Use social media more meaningfully
  • Recycle
  • Start a new hobby for fun
  • Express daily gratitude
  • Call friends more
  • Declutter your home

Tips for making your goals stick in 2020 …

1. Start small

You don’t need to Marie Kondo your home in one day to tick off a resolution. Start with a room or a cupboard, and if you feel like it, do another one the next month.

2. Focus on one goal at a time

You want to lose weight AND save money AND drink more water AND be on social media less from the get-go? Relax. Focus on one thing at a time, and don’t try to do everything at the same time. You’ll be overwhelmed, and you’ll likely be bleak with yourself if you can’t tick off all your resolutions.

“Resolutions shouldn’t put pressure on you and induce guilt trips (you probably have enough of those already).”

3. Set a time frame

Setting actions or goals every week or month is a great motivator to succeed, as long as you don’t get down when it needs to be carried over to the next week. Resolutions shouldn’t put pressure on you and induce guilt trips (you probably have enough of those already). Rather, they’re there to guide you to live a bit better.

4. Treat yourself

Achieved a goal? Woohoo! Then do something nice for yourself. Be careful though not to undo the good work for ticking off a goal. For example, try not to eat the whole slab of chocolate to reward yourself for eating in moderation, and don’t blow the budget hugely as a treat for saving money.

5. Ask for support

If you need a dietitian, financial advisor, friend or trainer to help you along, then ask for support. They could help you fulfil your resolutions.

6. Don’t give up

Still mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when you promised yourself you wouldn’t? Relax! It’s okay to “slip up”. Acknowledge, move on and try again.