January 1st marks the beginning of the new year. And year after year, we make New Years Resolutions to help guide us through the upcoming months.

But statistics have shown that each year, about 80% of resolutions are forgotten about and people feel like they failed. Then as January approaches, they set out and make a whole new list.

So how do you set resolutions that you will actually stick to? Let’s get started!

  1. Make concrete resolutions!
    Many resolutions are just statements about what people want to do this year. Blanket statements like “lose weight,” “save money,” and “get organized” are not specific enough. People don’t know what they really want and then have a hard time visualizing what a successful resolution actually looks like.

    Get specific with your resolutions so that you are more likely to commit to them. Set a time-frame to accomplish your resolutions and use clear numbers to describe what it is you want to change in your life. If losing weight is your resolution, state how much weight you want to lose, by when, and how you plan to go about it. “I want to lose 10 pounds in 8 months by adding more protein to my diet and decreasing the amount of sugar I consume” is a resolution that is clearly defined and has benchmarks for success. It also allows other people to help you stick to your resolution by knowing what you want to accomplish and how!

  2. Create a vision for your year!
    Defining what a successful year looks like to you is a great way to help stick to your New Years Resolutions. One way to do this is to create a vision board and clearly display it in an area that you can reference it throughout the year. Vision boards allow you to visually display what you manifest for the year.

    A great way to set up your board is to divide it into 4 parts that will highlight what you want to achieve throughout the year. Again, get specific with your goals! If you want to exercise, set a goal of running a 5k, or a half marathon and clearly put a race date on your vision board with a picture of running shoes. If you want to save money, put a clearly defined number on your vision board of how much you want to save, or a photo of an item/trip you want to save up for.

  3. Be Realistic
    Don’t set resolutions that are not achievable. This will automatically set you up for failure and leave you abandoning your resolutions completely. If you’ve never worked out before, running a marathon in 6 months might not be the most realistic resolution. A more realistic resolution would be to run a 5k, or increase the weight that you can lift, or try one new workout class a month. Make your resolutions enjoyable so they don’t become a chore that you are trying to complete. 

    Don’t be afraid to dream big, but also be practical. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and enjoy the process. Trust in yourself and what you know you can do within a given time frame. Set resolutions that you want to do for yourself and will make your life more enjoyable.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to use resolutions from previous years. It’s not failing if you didn’t accomplish a goal last year. Add it to this years list and tweak it to make it possible to stick to it. Make it more specific and realistic and find a way to make it enjoyable. Make this your happiest and healthiest and most successful year!

Originally published at medium.com