How to Set New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Stick With

With the new year right around the corner, pressure starts to set in for creating your own fresh start. There are twelve months ahead of us full of unknown opportunities, the breaking of old habits, and good times to be had.

How will you make the most of it? Tradition is to set New Year’s resolutions.

While doing this seems like a good idea, how many past years have you not honoured your resolutions? The easiest part is making big goals while the hardest is the follow-through.

To help you stick with your goals for the new year, take a look at these easy ways for following through with your new year resolutions!

Be Realistic – Set Attainable Goals

When January 1st rolls around, the number one thing on almost everyone’s list is to lose weight. Weight loss is a great goal for the start of a new year, but what often happens is people set unrealistic expectations.

Being all gung-ho about goals is awesome, but if you’re aiming to become a superhero overnight, that might be a stretch. Go for goals that you can actually tackle without turning your life into a stress fest. 

Saying you’ll lose 10 pounds in a month’s time sounds achievable, but for most, it won’t happen.  Keep it real and keep it doable. It’s like deciding to run a 5K when you’ve never jogged a block – maybe start with a lap around the park, you know?  

Developing healthy habits takes time and starts with small steps.  Setting goals you can actually reach sets you up for wins, not letdowns. Moral of the story is to allow yourself more time than you think you need.

Setting tight deadlines is often cause for failure. Lessen the pressure to make a difference within yourself or your life by setting realistic goals with reasonable timelines.  It’s like hitting the sweet spot between challenging and “I-can-actually-do-this.”

So, whether it’s acing a new recipe or finally hitting the gym regularly, make sure your goals are like your favorite pair of sneakers – a perfect fit for where you’re at right now.

Start Small

Don’t think you have to go all in because it’s a new year. Along with being realistic, try making small changes as well.

If you want to eat healthier, don’t throw away every processed and sugary food you own. A big change like that won’t give you the best results.

Instead, replace dessert with a healthier alternative like fruit and yogurt. That way, you won’t feel deprived nor like you’re making a huge life change all in one day.

To put it simply, don’t make a drastic behavior change overnight. Pace yourself and take baby steps.

Starting small with your New Year’s goals is like the secret sauce for crushing it. You know, instead of aiming for the moon right off the bat, break that big goal into baby steps. It’s like leveling up in a video game – you conquer the little challenges first before facing the boss battle.

Those small wins? They’re your confidence boosters, turning you into a goal-getting ninja. Plus, it’s way less overwhelming. Nobody expects you to bench-press a truck on day one, right? So, whether it’s swapping a soda for water or doing a mini workout, those tiny changes add up to big victories.

Think of it like creating a roadmap to awesome – start small, navigate the bumps, and soon enough, you’ll be owning those goals like a boss. Cheers to keeping it real and kicking butt! 

It’s Okay to Slip Up

Making any kind of change, big or small, is hard. With all the pressure we put on ourselves to follow through, remember that it’s okay to slip up. It happens!

What’s important is that you don’t beat yourself up. How you handle it is a reflection of how you’ll get back on track.

Let’s keep it real—slipping up on your goals is like a universal experience. Life gets crazy, and sometimes, pizza and Netflix just seem way more appealing than hitting the gym or working on that project. And you know what? That’s totally cool. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that your goals are toast. It’s more like a detour on the road to success.

Cut yourself some slack, acknowledge the slip-ups, and then get back on that goal-chasing wagon. Remember, everyone’s journey has its bumps, and it’s all part of the adventure.

So, if you accidentally snooze your morning workout or ditch that healthy salad for a burger, don’t beat yourself up. Learn from it, laugh it off, and get back to crushing those goals like the champ you are. 

If you beat yourself up, you’ll derail what good progress you’ve made. Acknowledge you made a mistake and move on, you’ll be good to go moving forward. 

You got this!

Get an Accountability Buddy

If you’re worried about slipping up, why not try getting yourself an accountability buddy?  This can be a trusted friend or family member who shares the same smart goal as yourself.  

You can also look for social support or online buddies who share similar goals.  The job of you and your buddy? To pump each other up and make sure you both stay on the right track to reach your end goal.

Having an accountability buddy for New Years resolutions can be tremendously beneficial in various ways. Firstly, it provides a support system that fosters motivation and commitment. Knowing that someone else is aware of your goals and progress creates a sense of responsibility, encouraging you to stay on track.

Additionally, an accountability buddy can offer valuable insights, advice, and encouragement, serving as a source of inspiration during challenging times. Be each other’s cheerleaders!

The shared commitment to personal growth and achievement creates a collaborative environment where both individuals can celebrate successes and overcome obstacles together. This mutual accountability not only increases the likelihood of achieving resolutions but also enhances the overall experience by turning the journey into a shared and rewarding endeavor.

Write Down Your Resolutions

I believe writing down your goals is better than sharing them on social media or telling friends and family. Create your own to-do list that outlines exactly what you hope to achieve. This can include eliminating bad habits, creating new habits, and goals for personal growth. 

Sometimes when you let others in on what you’re doing, the pressure becomes greater. And if you don’t follow through or have a lot of slip ups, you’ll feel like you’re letting them down.

To start, it’s best to write them down then work on them. If all is going well then by all means, tell everyone. They’ll be there to cheer on your progress.

So, jotting down your New Year’s goals isn’t just some fancy habit—it’s actually pretty darn important. When you put those dreams on paper, you’re basically giving them a solid form. It’s like turning vague ideas into real, tangible targets.

Plus, the act of writing things down gets your brain in gear. You start thinking about what you really want and how to get there.

And let’s not forget the magic of having that list (or even sticky notes!) staring back at you. It’s like a friendly reminder to stay on the ball and not lose sight of what you’re aiming for throughout the year.

So, grab a pen, spill your dreams on paper, and watch how it becomes your go-to guide for a kick-butt year of growth and good vibes.

Plan Ahead & Set Specific Goals

The issue with goal-making is — it’s exciting at first. But then a few weeks in, that feeling slowly dissipates. We’re left trying to find time and the dedication to complete our resolutions.

Planning ahead is the best way to hold yourself accountable and regain interest. If your resolution is to save more money, plan a monthly budget. 

Know how much your bills cost and add a little extra on for luxuries like Netflix. The rest, stash it in a savings account.

Your plan is a starting point to an achievable goal and one of the best ways to form new beginnings is to be very specific about your new goals.

Setting specific targets for large goals, like a lifestyle change, is a crucial step in turning aspirations into tangible achievements. When goals are specific, they provide a clear roadmap for the desired outcome, leaving little room for ambiguity.

Rather than a vague resolution like “exercise more,” a specific goal could be “exercise for 30 minutes, five times a week.” This level of detail makes it easier to measure progress, stay focused, and track accomplishments. 

Specific goals also enable you to break down larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks, making the path to success more achievable and less overwhelming.

The specificity of your goal setting not only enhances clarity but also acts as a powerful motivator, as you can clearly visualize the steps needed to attain your resolutions, fostering a sense of purpose and direction in your journey toward personal growth and positive changes.

The better you plan out your goals, the better you’ll set yourself up for success.

Celebrate Victories, Big and Small

Sticking with your goals will be stressful. To offset the difficult times, celebrate each victory.

Even if you only lost a pound or put away $10 within the first month, celebrate it! Each little victory is a step in the right direction.

Celebrating both the big and little things along the journey is essential for maintaining motivation and fostering a positive mindset.

Acknowledging small triumphs provides a sense of accomplishment, reinforcing the idea that progress, no matter how small, is significant. These smaller milestones act as stepping stones toward larger objectives, making the overall goal seem more attainable.

Celebrating big victories, on the other hand, serves as a powerful source of inspiration, boosting confidence and affirming the effectiveness of your efforts.

Whether it’s hitting fitness goals, completing a project, saving a certain amount of money, or establishing a healthier habit, recognizing and commemorating these achievements creates a positive feedback loop, encouraging continued dedication and resilience.

By taking the time to revel in both the small and big wins, you not only cultivate a positive and rewarding journey but also fortify your commitment to sustaining the positive changes you’ve worked hard to instill.

Making resolutions comes with a lot of pressure. But remember: you got this!

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By Kayla Peart

Kayla Peart is a storyteller and poet wandering through life and wondering about it. She shares her findings through stories and poetry on Moonflwr, her newsletter.


  1. These really are some fantastic hints for achieving your goals for the year ahead, that’s for sure! Accepting failure (and trying again) and planning ahead are detrimental, and I love this time of the year when I. actually get a moment to sit down and get exciting for the next 365 days!

    Happy New Year! ❤️

    Kiara xx |

    1. Thanks so much, Kiara! A new year can be daunting but just know it’s full of opportunities. It is what you make of it. 🙂

  2. I’m really focusing on planning my goals this year. I always write them down on paper, but I’ve noticed that the goals I achieve are the ones with specific actionable steps attached to them. Also, assigning a quarter to tackle a goal (3 months) and outlining how it’s actually possible helps. Of course, let God have His way in our lives. One thing I struggle with is finding a healthy way to celebrate achieving my goals.

    Happy New Year!

    1. That’s a great idea to create actionable steps to go along with your goals! I know myself and when I’m vague about what I want to do, I end up not doing it, haha.

      As for finding healthy ways to celebrate your victories, you could take yourself out to a movie you’ve been wanting to see. Or, for a cheaper alternative, head to a park with a friend and have a homemade picnic. Celebrating doesn’t always have to include champagne and dessert but rather things you’ve been wanting to experience or haven’t done in awhile. It’s more about taking time for yourself.

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