How to Make a New Year's Resolution You Can Keep

It’s almost the new year, and for those of us who like to pretend that a different number at the end of the date equates to a fresh new start, it’s time to decide what we want to resolve to do in the upcoming year.

As for me, I resolve to update the Frisco Fun & Formal blog on a regular basis. It’s always potentially troublesome to write a blog post about how I’m going to write more often. What usually happens is I read it later and realize that months have gone by with no new updates. Hopefully the potential guilt and embarrassment will help inspire me to stay on track!

Which brings us to the number one tip for keeping a resolution:

Tell someone else about your resolution.

If you just keep it to yourself, it is awfully easy to just pretend you never made the resolution at all. Whether that means making a public announcement or just telling a few close friends about your intentions and asking them to check in from time to time, sharing your resolution can be a useful tool in remembering what you wanted to accomplish.

Here are a few more ideas to help make this the year you keep your New Year’s Resolution:

Be reasonable.

Back in my younger, more foolish years, I used to make long lists of resolutions. Of course, I quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer number of changes I was trying to make all at once. The end result was that I did not accomplish any of them. Similarly, resolving to do something when you don’t have the time, energy or resources available to accomplish it will only end in frustration. One year I was tapped out with more than enough to do. I certainly didn’t need to add anything new to my schedule. I barely had time to maintain my everyday life. (Okay, if I’m being honest…that describes every year since I started having children.) That particular year my resolution was just to be happier, try to smile more and appreciate all that was good in my life. That resolution didn’t take up any extra time—it just required a little attitude shift. I’m not sure how much of a difference it made, but it certainly didn’t hurt to make the effort to focus on the positive.

You be you.

Don’t feel the pressure to make a resolution that isn’t true to who you are. Think big picture first, then fine tune to suit your personality. Want to be more active? What does that mean for you? Maybe you’re the type who needs to sign up for classes or schedule workouts with a friend. Or, maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe you know you will never make it to an organized class and you need to just do something at home. Are you a morning person or do you feel more energized at night? If you don’t figure out the “where,” “when” and “how,” you’ll never make any progress towards your new goal.

Consider a different kind of resolution.

Why do resolutions always have to be so challenging? Maybe they don’t! How about a resolution to eat more chocolate? Or take more baths? What if you resolved to outsource something you currently do—or just quit doing it altogether—so that you can get more rest? Think about the year ahead and what you might need to make your life better, more enjoyable or healthier.

Whatever your resolutions—or if you aren’t making any—here’s hoping your new year is a great one!