Sticking to your New Year’s resolutions

Photo credit: Dolphfyn via Getty Images

We all know how difficult staying committed to resolutions can be, especially by this point in the year. A little less than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and about 75% of those who do stick with their resolution for at least part of the year, according to the most recent Marist Polls. Meanwhile, a Forbes survey showed that improving mental health is one of the most common resolutions, especially in younger generations, signifying a shift in the way Americans are measuring their health overall.

Regardless of your own individual resolutions, several sources have similar recommendations for sticking to them. Check out these tips to help keep yours beyond the month of January.

Keep goals specific and simple

Instead of a broad goal like “eating healthier” or “exercise more,” make precise resolutions, like adding a serving of vegetables to a meal or taking a 30-minute walk three times a week. Even if you have a larger overarching goal that is specific, such as losing 20 pounds in four months, try breaking it into smaller steps like five pounds each month and making steps such exercising for an hour four days a week.

Establish a support system

Ask for support and accountability from those around you! Share your goals with your friends and family so they can encourage you, especially during the tough days.

Friends and family can also act as accountability partners by helping you stay committed to your resolutions. Identify an individual close to you and have them continuously check in on you during the week and encourage you to stick with your goals and habits, especially on the days when you REALLY don’t want to.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Resolutions will inevitably have setbacks, especially minor ones. Maybe you skip a workout when getting more exercise is your goal, or get takeout instead of cooking at home when resolving to make more meals at home. Remember that partially finishing a task, or completing a task late, doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s okay if this week is less successful than last or you slip up!

Make resolutions for the right reasons

Just because a goal is popular or common doesn’t mean it’s a goal you need to choose. When committing to making a significant change, make sure it’s something you want to change and not an external expectation. UAB Medicine recommends seriously thinking about the changes you want to make before the end of the year to better shape your resolution-making decisions for the next year.

Stay positive

Perhaps most importantly, stay positive! It’s easy to lose optimism and motivation as time progresses, so remind yourself what the outcome of reaching your goals is to remember why you’re committing to them. Reward your small victories during the journey, not just the major ones or at the end, and let these be tangible ways to show you’re making progress.

Use UCCS resources

Take advantage of UCCS services to help stick to your goals! Some of the most common resolutions include being more active, improving mental health and eating healthier, all of which you can find help with right here on campus. The Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center has services for fitness, mental health and nutrition assistance, along with many more resources. Meanwhile, the trail access on the grounds provide an easy way to get in a quick stroll between classes.

Other popular resolutions are to read more or learn a new skill or hobby. These can be made easier with the Kraemer Family Library through quick access to books for entertainment, learning about new things or both!