At the beginning of every year, people make resolutions on things they would like to change or improve in their lives.

The most common resolutions include things like losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking, saving more or spending less, getting organized, learning a new skill or hobby, and more. The ones listed here are also among the most commonly broken as well.

While resolutions are easy to make, they can also be very easy to break, but there are ways to ensure resolutions can be kept.

Keeping things manageable is a good way to start. It’s all well and good to say you’re going to learn five new languages, or get rid of five bad habits, but it might be best to start out small. A shorter list of things to accomplish is easier to handle, and less daunting. Mentally preparing for the resolution can also help. Taking stock of the accomplishments from the previous year can be a good place to start, with creating a list of what a person set out to do in the past year and comparing where progress was made, and not made for comparison.

Setting a goal that’s manageable and motivating, and if a goal or resolution feels like it might be too much to handle, breaking it into smaller goals might make it easier to accomplish. Instead of focussing on the main task, create a list of sub-tasks, organize them according to order and priority, decide how much time each task requires so you can allocate resources accordingly, and focus on the next step, not the big goal.

Writing down goals is a good way to keep track of them. For some, a journal works best, while for others, it’s easier to accomplish a goal or task if the reminder is some place visible.

Keeping track of a resolution on a regular basis is also a good way to stick to it. Some prefer electronic methods, like a reminder app on a phone, while some prefer more traditional methods, like the one listed above, but the more often you’re reminded, the more likely you are to stay on track.

Accomplishing a New Years’ resolution can be hard, but it’s not something that can be done overnight, and it’s okay to fall off the wagon from time to time. Just make sure you get back on the wagon as soon as you can. Like the riddle goes, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Happy New Year

Jillian Trainor

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