10 Secret Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

10 Secret Ways to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions
Credit: Neilson Barnard / Staff / Getty

Let me guess: your New Year’s Resolutions are to lose weight and eat healthy. While losing weight and healthy eating are noble resolutions, they are also a lot harder to stick to than you likely think. After all, healthy food can get bland in a heartbeat, the gym can get pushed to the bottom of the “to-do” list, and lastly, you might just flat out give up. But never fear because we’ve got the tips for making New Year’s resolutions stick!

Secrets that Stick

  1. 1. Planning: If you want to start eating healthy and exercising more, you’ve got to get a plan in order. Spend some time over the next few days coming up with a weight loss goal and learning about how your diet and exercise regimen will affect it. Take a look online for some recipes you like and schedule in trips to the grocery store, as well as outline activity time.


  1. Set Realistic Goals: One of the most common reasons people fail with New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t set realistic goals. If weight loss is your plan, set yourself up so you’re losing between 1-2 pounds per week—anything more than that will be unsustainable. If you want to eat better, start by gradually increasing healthful items and limiting junk food, easing your way into a healthy balanced diet.


  1. Trick Yourself: Getting up and knowing you have to get out for a walk or run is a surefire way to make you hit that “snooze” button a few times. Instead, schedule errands and activities throughout the day that you can walk to—just make sure you’ve budgeted the time!


  1. Personalize Your Plan: When it comes to succeeding with dieting, exercise, and weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Pick an approach that works for you. If you prefer playing squash or cycling to CrossFit or working out in the gym, do one of those activities. If you’d rather work out as part of a group, join a group fitness program. If you don’t like certain foods, don’t eat them! (or at least find recipes that allow them to suit your palate).


  1. Put it in writing: Write down your goals and the plan to get there. Track your progress, too. Seeing is believing, and it keeps you accountable and motivated.


  1. Accept Imperfection: Newsflash: at some point you’re going to screw up; but guess what? It doesn’t matter. Just get back on the right track following a slip up and keep moving forward with head up.


  1. Tell Loved Ones: It’s way harder to go at anything alone than it is with a support system. Tell loved ones what you’re hoping to accomplish this year, and they are likely to support you. Even though they may not be interested in losing weight or making other changes, at least they can help support your efforts.


  1. Don’t Pick Something You Picked Last Year: Look, if you’ve tried to do the same thing year in and year out, it might be time to try something else. Perhaps it could be a simple change on methodology, or maybe it’s worth going in a different direction completely. Once you’re successful, it’s much easier to build and branch in other areas.


  1. Don’t Rush: Be patient. If you haven’t made a resolution or planned it yet, January 1 is not a deadline: your chariot will not turn into a pumpkin. Take as long as you need to construct your plan before executing: You have your whole life in front of you.


  1. Have Fun: Do the best you can to have fun; after all, you don’t want 2017 to be the worst year ever. If your resolution needs a little tinkering, tinker away!