How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 28, 2023 | Living With Heart | By: Allison

I always love the start of a new year. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on myself and my life and what I can do to make the new year a great one. Naturally, this leads to setting New Year’s Resolutions. A few years ago, I realized the importance of not just setting an intention or a resolution, but developing a written plan for how to accomplish them.

If you want to actually stick to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2024, keep reading! I’ve got a plan that could work for you. 

  • First, determine what you want to accomplish. What is your ideal vision for yourself and your life? Do you want to lose weight? Save money? Be a better family member, friend, or partner? Take a trip? Change your career?  Or best yet, buy a home? Make a list of things you want to accomplish in the various areas of your life.
  • Make the resolution “SMART”.  Meaning, make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. So instead of saying you want to lose weight, reframe it with more detail. For example, I will weigh ___ by the end of 2023 (or by a certain date).  Or, I will lose ___  pounds per month. Having specific numbers and timeframes makes it easier to gauge if you are on track. 
  • Write out WHY you want what you want.  It’s helpful to go back and read the WHY behind your resolutions when you start to lose momentum. 
  • Then, determine the HABITS you need to accomplish the goal. What needs to happen and how frequently?  For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds from January 1st to March 31st, what would you need to do to accomplish it?  How often do you need to work out?  What should you add or subtract to/from your diet? Try not to make it too complicated. For me, committing to move my body every weekday, even if it was just for 5 minutes, helped me develop a consistent workout habit, which I have struggled with for years.  The book Atomic Habits is a fantastic book for starting and sustaining new habits.

Once you know the vision of what you want, why you want it, and what you need to do to achieve it, it’s time to make a plan to actually do it! 

  • Put the habits into your calendar. For example, which workouts will you plan to do and when? Same goes for the diet.  What do you need to do to stick to that?  Schedule a trip to a healthier grocery store or time to cook healthier meals? Add what you need to do to your calendar so you actually do it. This year, I also downloaded the app Habit which I LOVED.  I entered the habits I wanted to stick to at the beginning of the year and then every day logged my progress. It kept me accountable on a daily basis but also allowed me to see cumulative totals for the year so I could really see how much progress (or sometimes not!) I made.
  • Get buy-in from people around you who can help you commit to the habits. Let them know what you are planning to do and why it’s important. Having a cheerleader and someone around who can help when a conflict comes up is so important. 
  • Create a habits tracker. I used to print one out each week and put it in my kitchen with all of the tiny habits and tasks I needed to do that will get me closer to achieving my resolutions. This year, I switched to an app called Habit (there is another simpler app called HabitShare that is also good). I love it because it shows me my progress and you can set different cadences for how often you want to track things (daily, twice a week, weekly, monthly, etc). I know not everyone is as Type A as me, but there is something satisfying about checking things off and feeling accomplished! It holds me accountable and makes me actually want to complete the items on the list. 

Now, you have an actionable plan to get to your goals. To stay motivated, I recommend the following.

  • Try not to focus on the gap between where you are today and where you want to be. Focus on the activities you can do TODAY to make sure you are making progress and “gaining” towards your goal. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Just make progress each day, one day at a time.  My favorite book that I read (listened to) in 2022 was The Gap and The Gain: The High Achievers Guide to Happiness, Confidence and Success. This was a huge mindset shift for me and really helped me move the ball forward towards my goals while staying positive.
  • Keep your progress actions doable. Just like with the 5 min workout example above, I’ve found that doing something / anything, no matter how small, towards your goals is better than making a grand plan and never having the time to follow through. I used to try to find time for hour long workout classes (plus travel time) and found I always ended up canceling. By committing to something smaller, I ended up building a habit that now has me excited to prioritize finding time for the longer classes – and not beating myself up when I only have a small amount of time for something smaller.
  • Make a vision board or have an inspirational quote or image nearby that you will see frequently to remind yourself of what you are trying to accomplish and achieve.  I made mine in Canva and it’s the background of my laptop, so I see it every day. 
  • Review your resolutions and the WHY behind them at least once a month, if not weekly or daily.  I have an auto-email scheduled to come to me regularly so I don’t forget to review them.  When you review them, see if you need to make changes to the goal itself or the habits required to achieve it.  Don’t beat yourself up if adjustments are needed. Once again, it’s all about forward progress and giving yourself the opportunity every day to get closer to that ideal vision for yourself and your life. Progress over perfection!

Here’s to working towards a happy, healthy and exciting 2024, a year you will stick to your New Year’s Resolutions!  I believe in you 🙂

PS – If buying or selling a home is one of your resolutions in 2024, please reach out! We’d love to help. You can also read our financial guide to buying a home, download our first time buyers guide, or read my tips on saving money to buy a new home – and why it is so important to get into the real estate market!