How To Make Your New Years Resolution Stick

Sunday, December 20, 2020

 New Year's Eve is just around the corner! This time of year is a magical one because it offers the promise of new beginnings. More than any other time, the coming of the new year is full of hope, inspiration and motivation for personal growth and self-improvement. In just a few weeks, millions of people will be setting New Year's resolutions, and choosing to work towards becoming the best possible version of themselves. Unfortunately, according to research, the majority of people will fail to stick to their new habits long-term. Here are ten powerful ways you can overcome these hurdles, and actually stick to your New Year's resolutions in 2021!

Do It For YOU

To make resolutions that you can stick to, they must be personally meaningful to you. You have to want to make that change. So many people end up making New Year's resolutions because they feel like it's something they "should" do. Or because someone else wants them to do it. When things get tough, people who don't value the new habit are going to give up quickly. Especially compared to someone who really cares about and truly wants to achieve their resolutions. When you're making New Year's resolutions, make sure they involve something important to you, something YOU care about.

Start Where You're At Right Now

When working towards a goal, many people make the mistake of trying to start where they want to end up rather than starting where they are at right now. The "go big or go home" mentality is where people are so eager to meet their goals, that they try to skip right to the endpoint. For example, if you want to lose weight, you may think about only eating vegetables and working out every day. After a while, the lifestyle becomes unsustainable, so you quit. Trying to change everything all at once turns out very poorly.

This method gets people in over their head, and they usually end up quitting. Even worse, after giving up, they start doubting their abilities and are much less likely to attempt the goal again in the future. The better approach is to start where you're at now, and gradually work up to where you want to be. This will give you successes early on, and build your confidence, so you are ready to tackle bigger goals!

Use Methods You Can Make Into A Lifestyle

Another common mistake that people make is to use methods that are unsustainable, meaning that they are hard to stick to long-term. Many people talk themselves into making a change by saying they'll only make the change until they reach their goal. It sets us up to believe that as soon as we've reached our goal that we can just go right back to our old habits. When people believe they'll only have to stick to something for a short while, they more often than not, choose extreme methods designed to reach that goal very quickly.

Unsustainable and extreme measures are taken to reach big goals quicks, and these methods tend to make a person miserable. The better approach is to avoid using a particular method unless you can see yourself making it a part of your lifestyle. If you use slow, sustainable methods, you avoid going back to old habits and sticking to your goals.

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

New Year's resolutions can be easier to achieve with the help of others. If you can, try and find somebody that wants to achieve the same goal as you and do it together! You could seek a support group or online community to join if you can't find someone that wants to reach a similar goal. It can also be helpful to get an accountability partner. Talk to someone who has typically been very supportive of you in the past, and tell them about your New Year's resolutions. Ask them if they would be willing to check in with you periodically to see how things are going. Just knowing that somebody is going to be checking up on you gives just a little more motivation to stick to your resolutions.

Change Things To Make Your New Habit Easier

Research has proven that humans have a limited supply of willpower. If they try to achieve a goal just by relying on willpower, many may find it hard to follow through. The better approach is to set up your physical environment in a way that removes as many temptations as possible. Removing temptations reduces the amount of willpower you will need to achieve your goals. For example, if you're trying to stop snacking on junk food, remove the unhealthy snacks from your house. Replace them with a selection of healthier snacks, and put them in a place you see regularly. When you are hungry and want to grab something quickly, you won't have to deal with the temptation of unhealthy snacks. It will be easier to make the choice that aligns with your New Year's resolutions.

Strive For Progress, Not Perfection

Another big thing that can stand in the way of people achieving their New Year's resolutions is perfectionism. If you go into a new habit expecting that you will be perfect all the time, then when you do make a little slip-up, you'll beat yourself up about it and have a hard time getting back on track. If you go into a new habit expecting that slip-ups will happen, it will be much easier to recover from little mistakes. So instead of trying to be perfect, just try to get a little bit better each day than you were the day before. After all, building new habits is hard, and no one is perfect!

Go In With Realistic Expectations

One of the biggest killers of motivation to achieve a new goal is unrealistic expectations. On average, it takes 66 days to form most habits. For complex habits, it could take up to 254 days to develop! I tell you this not to discourage you, but to help you form realistic expectations. Imagine if you go into a new habit thinking you'll only have to work hard for 21 days. What do you think will happen when you get to that 21-day mark, and you are still struggling to stick to that new habit? If you go in with realistic expectations, knowing that it's going to take a while to form a new habit. This understanding will allow you to continue working towards that goal rather than losing confidence and giving up.

Focus On The Process

Another helpful trick to achieve New Year's resolutions is to focus on the process rather than the outcome. If you focus on the end result, a big goal can seem intimidating and far away. If you have broken your goal down into smaller parts and just focus on what you need to do each day to achieve your goal, suddenly the goal seems much less overwhelming. For example, losing 20 pounds can seem pretty intimidating. But if instead you just focus on the tasks you have to do for the day, it suddenly seems more doable. Focusing on the process allows you to take a big goal one day at a time.
Track Your Progress

Finally, to stay on track with your New Year's resolutions, make sure that you track your progress in some way. First of all, tracking your habits is a form of accountability, and can help you stick to your goals day in and day out. But even more importantly, tracking allows you to see your progress. There is nothing more motivating than seeing your progress and success when working in a goal that you care about. The more progress you see, the more motivated you will become. 

New Year's Eve is a magical time of year, full of hope and new beginnings. However, the magic can vanish quickly when New Year's Resolutions are abandoned in favour of old routines. Keep the magic alive in 2021 by following these 9 tips for making New Year's Resolutions you can actually stick to. I hope these science-backed methods will help you set yourself up for success in the new year! Have you got any New Year's resolutions in mind for 2021 yet? 

About The Guest Blogger

Clarissa is a teacher, coach, and an avid adventurer currently living in Hawai’i. Armed with a master’s degree in Exercise and Wellness, she is on a mission to help people develop the healthy habits and growth mindset necessary to achieve their goals and find their own brand of happiness. There is nothing she is more passionate about than helping people live their lives to the fullest

You Might Also Like


  1. This is brilliant advice. I find setting goals rather than resolutions seems to work better for me but it's a hard balance.

    I haven't thought about what mine are going to be for the year ahead but I am going to make some time to think about what I want to achieve in 2021 x

  2. Great tips, especially tailoring your resolutions to your lifestyle. There is no point in thinking you’re going to exercise every day when you’re too busy and you hate exercise. I have to make some still, so thank you for inspiring me!

  3. This is a great post, thanks for sharing! I think the biggest influence on making and sticking to your new year resolutions is focusing on changes that you can make into your lifestyle.

  4. These are great methods to sticking to your NY resolutions, I'm hopeless at sticking to mine and I'll be trying these different methods! x

    Lucy |

  5. Thanks for sharing, these are good ideas to make the resolutions stick :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

  6. Floor covering should commonly be dodged in territories where there is a great deal of dampness, for example, restrooms and kitchens. These zones need something that is anything but difficult to keep clean and which doesn't hold dampness. A reasonable choice might be artistic floor tiles, wood flooring as long as it's very much fixed, or vinyl flooring.
    Read more at:
    "Get Kitchen Floor Mats"

  7. They say old habit die hard and I think it true. I always start with the baby step when it comes achieving a certain goal even if I fall I know to stand up again instead letting the old habit come back again.

    Happy holiday!

  8. I am 100% with you! You can't expect to change your life completely in the first few days of a year. Rather go about changing your life one baby step a day - consistency is key here.

    All the best, Michelle (