How to Actually Keep a New Year’s Resolution

How to Actually Keep a New Year’s Resolution

Here’s a New Year’s resolution we can all agree to: let’s make one New Year’s resolution we can actually keep!

Without fail each year, millions of Americans write long and very personal Facebook posts that are both inspiring and heart felt about “a new year, a new me.” In reality, these “resolutions” fade and fizzle before January even ends for most. We all have great intentions and we all want to start fresh in the new year.

This year, how about trying something new? How about making a New Year’s resolution you can actually stick to and achieve?  Doesn’t that sound amazing? Let’s find out how to do just that.

First, here’s a glimpse at the most common New Year’s Resolutions from this year:

  • Eat healthier
  • Get more exercise
  • Save (more) money
  • Focus on self-care
  • Read more
  • Make new friends
  • Learn a new skill
  • Get a (new) job
  • Take up a new hobby

Why do most New Year’s resolutions fail?

With all the excitement over a new year, making plans to do better is almost inevitable. According to the University of Scranton, however, only 8% of people stick to their resolutions.

There’s no shame in desiring to improve yourself. You shouldn’t feel as though New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. But why do they fail? The reasons New Year’s resolutions are not kept all year long include the following:

  • The list is too long. Want to improve all areas of your life? Perhaps you need more than a New Year’s resolution if your list is super long. A single New Year’s resolution is a better plan.
  • The resolution is too vague. If your resolution is not specific, it is easy to let go of it. Find a specific goal and a concrete way to discern when you’ve attained it.
  • The resolution is too complicated. Keeping a resolution simple is your best bet to achieve your goal.
  • Not being honest. If you don’t pick something meaningful that you’ll actually work on, then you might as well not make a resolution altogether and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • The environment is not supportive. Making a commitment is great, but if you are constantly in a state of fighting your own environment (i.e. trying to get fit with a bunch of junk food in your house), then you will be sure to fail.

How to pick the right New Year’s resolution

The most important thing to remember when choosing a New Year’s resolution is to pick something meaningful, and that you truly want to do deep down inside. It cannot be something others want for you and you cannot be pressured into it either.

Something to consider when deciding to make a New Year’s resolution is using the SMART method. Make a resolution that is:






By using this method, you can make your New Year’s resolution that is much more exact with a way to attain what you are looking for in 2019.

How to actually keep a New Year’s resolution

So let’s get more specific here. Keeping your resolutions and getting to your goal has a lot to do with the goal itself. Experts will suggest keeping your goal simple and tangible. Using the SMART method listed above, here are some examples that might fit into that model a little more specifically:


  • Instead of resolving to ‘eat healthier,’ choose to meal prep all your weekly lunches.
  • Instead of resolving to ‘get more exercise,’ commit to working out three times a week.
  • Instead of resolving to ‘save more money,’ set up a direct deposit of a specific amount of money into your savings account.

The beauty of these goals is that they are simple, but they are tangible. This means that these resolutions can be measured and will fit nicely into the SMART method.

What Makes Someone Successful?

Being successful in life requires goal setting, determination and never letting fear prevent you from trying. Some of the world’s most successful people have mastered this and have turned these into habits. Some of their habits include:

  • Letting go of grudges
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Being around the right people
  • Being proactive about relationships
  • Seeing problems as challenges
  • Sleeping enough
  • Enjoying nature
  • Dreaming big, making no excuses

Bottom Line

There is absolutely no shame in wanting to make changes in 2019 to your body, your life and your health. You can rise above and join the other 8% of people that will stick to their New Year’s resolution. It will take some time, dedication and determination. However, you do have the capability of succeeding, either that or there’s always next year.