How to Set New Year’s Resolutions and Stick to Them

A family holding sparklers, embodying the significance of New Year's resolutions, especially for those post-incarceration, as they embrace fresh starts and set positive intentions for the future.

For many people, the beginning of a new year signifies a blank slate and a chance to start fresh. Some like to set a resolution at the beginning of each year of things they would like to change or improve throughout the coming year. The most popular resolutions typically involve self-improvement such as to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, or quit smoking. However, your resolutions should be personal to you and based on your individual goals.

How to Set a New Year’s Resolution:

1. Reflect on the past year

Take time to reflect on the previous year and examine what went well for you and what could have gone better. Think about your daily actions and habits, and which of those you would like to either abandon or continue to implement. Envision the best version of yourself and what changes you would have to make to become that person. If your resolutions are important and meaningful to you, you are going to be more likely to follow through with them, so taking the time to reflect on yourself is an important first step.

2. Make a list

Next, make a list of your resolutions. Having something written down either physically or digitally will help you remember your goals and keep you accountable and motivated. You will be able to refer to your list at any point in the year and track your progress. Remember to reward yourself for the progress you make, no matter how small.

3. Supplement your resolution

Think about the smaller goals and actions you will need to take to supplement your resolutions. If your New Year’s resolution is to be healthier, what specific actions can you take to be healthier? For example, you can incorporate better foods into your diet, create an exercise routine that works for you, and set time aside each week to do something for your mental health as well.

4. Involve your community

The best way to keep yourself accountable is to involve others. Sit down with friends or family and discuss your resolutions together. If you let loved ones know what you are working toward, they will be able to motivate you and keep you on track. Those who love you will want to see you succeed, so involving them in your journey toward self-improvement will only benefit you and strengthen your relationships.

5. Do not be too hard on yourself

Oftentimes people are disappointed when they realize at the end of the year that they have not accomplished any of their New Year’s resolutions. Changing already learned habits is difficult and reverting to previous habits does not mean that all progress has been lost. If you veer from your goals, get back on track as soon as possible. Remember why you set these intentions for yourself in the first place to motivate you to follow through with them.

New Year’s resolutions are long-term goals you set for yourself for the year. Although many people like to set goals at the beginning of the year, there is no limit on when you can set or change your goals. You are always in control of yourself and can choose to improve your life at any time.

Published On: December 28th, 2022|Categories: Mental Health & Wellness Resources|

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