When you look back on past New Year’s Resolutions, are you filled with regret and shame? Has there been a pattern of stopping short or even failure? If following through on these needed changes is a challenge, here are a few ways to increase your odds of success.

Haven’t come up with a resolution yet? We have you covered! Check out our post, ‘Four New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Health.’

Consider the Options

Your resolution will probably start with a more vague, overarching goal, which you will then have to breakdown into a set of steps to attain the goal. It is a good idea to brainstorm all the actions you can take to meet your goal and then select those you would enjoy the most and which are convenient for you. This sets you up for success from the start.

Let’s say you want to be more active in the new year. You make the resolution to walk or run each day, sign up for a gym membership, or hire a personal trainer. If finances are tight and you like spending time outside, the first choice might be best for you. If you like to work out on your own and you have some extra cash the second could work. If you struggle with self-motivation you might need someone else to give you a nudge, this is where the personal trainer could come in handy.

Be sure do things you enjoy. If you hate running but love lifting weights stick to that. If both of these sound boring try a spin class or maybe yoga. If you enjoy what you are doing it is so much easier to follow through!

Frame It

Think of your resolution as a habit. By framing it in this way you reject the notion that you are allowed to decide to do or, more often, not to take actions to lead you to success with your resolution.

When you frame it as a habit you will start to factor into your routine. These consistent actions can lead to success. While this may make your goal sound more ordinary and less exciting, it can take second-guessing out of the equation, creating ease and simplicity.

Reward Yourself

This goes hand in hand with habit. In order to keep a habit, there must be some sort of payoff. In the case of a resolution where you would like to work out more and the habit becomes going to the gym four times a week, the payoff may take the form of better sleep, more energy, and an overall increase in self-confidence and quality of life. While these are all great reasons to continue renewing your gym membership, you may need something a little more tangible. A reward at the end of the year, or maybe sooner, could be a good option as it has been proven that rewards can be good motivators. This might be buying yourself a new item of clothing, taking a trip, or treating yourself to a nice meal. It can be small or large if it is motivating. Just be sure that your reward doesn’t take away from the goals of your new year’s resolution.

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