New Year, New Habits: 5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Resolutions in 2020


For most of us, the final days of the year are a period of reflection, planning, and – of course – setting New Year’s resolutions. While the bad news (as we all know) is that many people fail to keep their resolutions, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! Use these five tips to make your new habits stick in 2020. 1. Keep it realistic. It’s so tempting to set resolutions as if you’re going to become superhuman on January 1. But making a resolution that’s not realistic is the surest way to set yourself up for failure. If you haven’t run since high school gym class, don’t set a goal to run five miles every day. Instead, build up gradually. Similarly, if you’ve never practiced meditation before, don’t jump to doing thirty minutes; instead, start with five. You’ll be much more likely to stick with more realistic goals, and you’ll be able to build on those small changes. 2. Be specific about your goal. Another reason many people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is that they’re too vague. “Get in shape” and “Get organized” are common resolutions – but what do they really mean? How would you know whether or not you succeeded? To set a goal you’re more likely to keep, make it specific. Resolutions like “Go to Pilates class three days per week” and “Do the dishes every night,” are much more specific. You’ll know exactly what you need to do, and you’ll be able to clearly tell if you’re meeting the goal. 3. Consider your why. When you make a resolution, it can also be tremendously helpful to understand WHY you’re setting that particular goal. Why do you care about it? What will the results be? Why are they important? For most people, a deeper “why” is much more motivating than a superficial one. For example, people who focus mainly on appearance when trying to lose weight often fail. But identifying a deeper purpose – like having the energy to play with your kids or grandkids – can be much more motivational. 4. Let it be enjoyable. It often feels like resolutions are supposed to look a certain way – but what’s important is to find things that work for you. Want to work out more, but hate the gym? Resolve to go on more hikes or bike rides. Want to read more, but can’t get into the classics? Stick with contemporary novels or non-fiction, and know that it still counts. 5. Make a plan. A final piece many people miss is the planning. Deciding you want to do something is just the first part; you also need to create a plan for how you’re going to do it. Making a plan to stick to your resolution could be as simple as signing up for a series of fitness classes, joining a book club, or making plans with a friend who’ll hold you accountable. If you take the time to set your goals carefully and make a practical plan to meet them, you’ll be much better prepared for success in January, and throughout the year!
About the Author
Jennifer Ambrose Jen is a freelance writer, blogger, and yoga teacher who left her office job in Boston to travel the world with her husband. She previously worked in international development and academic research, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. Some of her biggest passions include promoting responsible and mindful travel and helping her students develop their personal yoga practice.