How to stick to your New Year’s resolutions

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Our top 5 tips for achieving your goals in 2023

It’s a new year (hello 2023) which means it’s the perfect time to start working on a new habit, goal or dream. New Year's resolutions often get a bad wrap, and it’s no secret that many people do fail to achieve their goals.

But the good news is that there are science backed methods that you can use to set yourself up for success. Below are our top 5 tips on how to set and stick to your resolutions.

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1. Set specific and achievable resolutions

The more specific your goal is, the more measurable it will be, which means you’ll be better able to track your progress. So instead of setting a goal like “exercise more” you should set a goal like “exercise 3 times per week for 50 minutes”.

Also ensure that the goal you are setting is achievable. Remember you can always extend or push your goals out further if you reach them early.  

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2. Break bigger goals down into smaller milestones 

One of the main reasons that so many New Year's resolutions fail is because people try to do too much too quickly. It’s important that you plan out your goal and break it down into smaller milestones so that you can see your progress.

Remember that the beginning can be the hardest part so this is the phase that you’re likely to make slow progress. Whilst you might be slow to start science shows that it’s these small consistent changes that add up over time.

Make sure to celebrate each milestone as you reach it. 

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3. Habit stack where possible 

Is there something you do regularly without fail? If you answered yes then it could be a great spot in your day/week to work on your new goal.

Habit stacking is where you take a habit that you already have and “stack” a new habit on top of it. So for example if you already have a habit of making a cup of tea first thing in the morning then you could look to add a new smaller habit on top of it. For example if you are learning a new language you could grab your study materials while the water boils and then study whilst drinking your tea. 

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4. Get accountable 

Setting a goal is great but telling people about it, and them keeping you accountable is even better!

Also consider working on goals together with likeminded friends and family. Science shows that working towards a goal with friends can increase your success rate, not to mention that if you’re having fun you’re more likely to stick to your new habit.

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5. Allow for setbacks

There will be times throughout the year that you miss a milestone or can’t work on your resolution as planned, and that’s ok. Science shows that it’s when we miss a milestone or fail to do a certain task that we are most likely to give up, declaring ourselves failures.

The best way for you to stick to your resolution is to plan to fail. You can do this by allowing yourself some space within your goals, for example if your goal is to stretch everyday consider giving yourself 1-2 opportunities per week to miss a session. This way if/when you do miss a day it won’t feel like you’ve missed the entire goal and you’ll be less likely to quit.

The most important part is not giving up!

In Conclusion

Not all New Year's resolutions are doomed to fail. By setting specific and achievable goals as well as making a solid execution plan you’re much more likely to succeed. Remember you will experience setbacks so prepare for these and most importantly be kind to yourself.