5 Actionable Steps for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions

We’re halfway through the first month of 2017 and now that we’ve defined and planned our goals and resolutions, it’s juuuust about time for them to start falling to the wayside. With the workweeks flying by and everyday tasks pulling our attention here and there, it’s no wonder New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap for being short-term, idealistic wishes instead of planned goals we can actually reach.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. With a few intentional and very actionable steps, you can kiss those naysayers goodbye and get on with being, doing, feeling your best in the coming year. So here they are: five actionable steps for sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Write them down

We all know (or at least have heard) that the simple act of putting pen to paper can be therapeutic and a strong agent for change. Whether it’s journaling, keeping a dream log or composing a letter to vent your frustrations, writing is powerful. Write your goals down somewhere - both so that they concretely exist on paper and so that you can easily look back on them.

2. Take small, measured steps

While it’s good to have some idea of the end-game, keeping your eye on the prize can keep you from focusing on the smaller picture, where change matters most. Remember that slow and steady wins the race - slow measured steps are the only way to big, long-term change.

3. Stay positive

It’s all too easy to fall into negative ways of thinking. It’s too hard, I don’t have enough time or energy, it was a stupid goal to begin with. But staying positive means we’re more likely going to see our plans through. Shift your thinking so that instead of saying “I have to workout three times a week,” you say something more positive like, “I get the chance to focus on myself three times a week.”

4. Talk about them

Nothing will hold you more accountable like probing questions from friends or family. Talk about your resolutions - shout them from the rooftops! That way, you’re guaranteed to have inquiring questions down the line. People will want to know how it’s going with the manuscript you’re writing in 2017, or what's new with that new hobby you wanted to pick up.

5. Don’t stress

We will fall short. We’ll have setbacks and some days will be better than others. That’s life.  It’s easy to beat ourselves up about these things -  especially when we mess-up, do things or act in ways contrary to our goals. It’s also easy to feel the pressures of being “busy” and “stressed.” But keeping a level-head and not taking yourself too seriously are the best ways to not only reach your goals, but also enjoy the process along the way.

Hopefully these steps will help you stick to your New Year’s goals and resolutions. Do you have other helpful tricks or tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.