Don’t give up! How to keep those resolutions

So you’ve made that list of resolutions that will make a better you (and inspire others) in 2019. Yay you!

Now. How do you keep them?

Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but statistically speaking, only 8% of us will keep the resolutions we make this year. Waa-waa. But the reason for that is pretty simple: We don’t make it easy for ourselves to keep our resolutions. They tend to be all or nothing — give up carbs, exercise every day, lose 20 pounds by March 1. It’s great to be an overachiever and all, but sometimes, doing so sets us up real nice for failure.

And then we give up completely.

We don’t want you to give up on the things you want for yourself! So let’s make them a little more realistic, how ‘bout it?

Make smaller, measurable goals.

Whoa, what’s that you say? Make smaller goals? Yep. Doing so might seem like a step in the wrong direction, but when your goal is smaller, it’s more attainable. Instead of saying you’re going to give up carbs in 2019, consider saying you’re going to eat a reduced number of carbs per day, or you’re going to give yourself one or two days per week to eat them freely. Cutting something completely from your life in an instant can give you an immediate rush of achievement — but over the long term, it isn’t always sustainable. Reduce the risk of giving up completely by taking it one step at a time. Making sure it’s measurable gives you a way to track it.

Write. It. Down.

Use a calendar or a journal to log your goal for each day, and follow that up with how you performed. Even if that goal is to buy someone’s coffee once a week, choose the day you’re going to do it and write it down. Putting it on paper makes it official, and helps you hold yourself accountable. Celebrate when you meet your goal! And if you aren’t able to make it happen that day, writing that down too will encourage you to be more successful the next time around.

Go easy on yourself.

It’s easy to beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve the grandiose plans we make. But if you make smaller, more attainable goals, and you log your progress, you’ll be able to make incremental progress and remind yourself of how well you’re doing. You’re not going to be on your game every day, and that’s OK! Be willing in the beginning to forgive yourself when you don’t meet your goal. But also be resolved to trying again tomorrow. As Anne Shirley once said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”