What happened to that New Year’s Resolution?

We’ve all been there, kicking off the year with a “New year, new goals, new you!” mentality.

And then …. a few months, or weeks or even days later and that New Year’s Resolution that was going to change your life is somewhere on the very back burner of your everyday life.

Important resolutions to improve health, relationships and professional and personal endeavors can improve our quality of life tremendously and there are ways to make those resolutions stick. Here are some ways we can end this cycle of resolutions not lasting:

1. Set a realistic goal. This is probably the biggest reason resolutions fail. If you set a goal that is too lofty, for example: earn a law degree within two years; or lose 20 pounds in a week, you are bound to fail. Make sure your resolution is achievable, first and foremost.

2. Be specific. For example, instead of a resolution of  “eat healthier” set specific guidelines such as “eat at least five servings of vegetables a day.” Or “cut out soda pop.”

3. Track your progress. An app or simple pad and paper tracking your progress will help you be able to review your achievements and adjust as necessary.

4. Learn from setbacks. There will be times you make mistakes or can’t possibly stay with your plan. Be flexible when it’s beyond your control and learn from your mistakes when it is.  If there is a setback, review. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier or lose weight but you overate because of stress, recognize it and find an alternative to deal with your stress.

Reflecting regularly on your goals and achievements keeps your resolutions top of mind. If your resolutions are very important or complex such as changing a lifestyle that is causing you major hardship, consider getting professional guidance to help you on your journey.