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6 Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

new year's resolution sign with coffee, notes, and glasses

Believe it or not, most New Year’s resolutions fail – and only one-third of them make it into February. Most people resolve to save money, read more, or get in shape – but no matter your resolution, these ways to keep your New Year's resolutions will help you navigate the year.  

1. Be realistic.

When it comes to setting your goals, make sure you’re realistic. Don’t make a resolution just because your friends and family members are doing it; pick one that is specific and meaningful to you. If one large goal seems daunting, break it down into smaller goals you can achieve throughout the year.

Eating better is a realistic goal anybody can create for themselves. And it's easy to accomplish. Read "10 Simple Ways to Trick Yourself into Eating Healthier" to find out more.

2. Track your progress.

Whatever your goal may be, it’s important to keep track of the changes you’re making. Take pictures, write down notes, or make a chart or graph to track your progress. When you’re struggling to keep going, looking back and seeing how far you’ve come will spark motivation.

3. Share it with others.

You’re more likely to accomplish your goal if you share it with others. When you know other people are watching and are aware of what you’re working towards, it’ll be harder to give up.  

4. Find an accountability partner.

Chances are, someone you know has made their own New Year’s resolution. Find an accountability partner to check in with, count on for motivation, and help you keep your eye on the prize. Even if they don’t have the same goal, it’s nice to have someone there when times get tough.

Finding an accountability partner doesn't have to be complicated. There's an app for that! Check out "Our Favorite Apps for Staying Healthy" to learn more.

5. Reward yourself.

Keep yourself motivated by rewarding your victories and milestones. Just be sure not to go overboard!

6. Don’t give up.

Nobody is perfect, and setbacks do (and probably will) happen. Remind yourself that minor slip-ups won’t completely derail your progress, and don’t use them as an excuse to throw in the towel. It helps to have a plan in place for how to deal with these setbacks and get back on track.

woman in yellow sweating writing goals on notepad

Reach Your Health Goals This Year

Health and wellness improvements are top goals for the New Year. From running a 5K to practicing meditation, prioritizing mental and physical well-being is more popular than ever. For ways to keep your New Year's resolutions that are health-focused, read "How to Set Realistic Health Goals for the New Year."


Where did New Year’s resolutions come from?

The Babylonians were the first to set New Year’s pledges or resolutions. About 4,000 years ago, Ancient Babylonians were the first to hold—and record—celebrations to mark the new year.

What are the 7 most popular New Year’s resolutions?

According to a recent study, the seven most popular resolutions include:

  1. Improved fitness
  2. Maintain better finances
  3. Improve mental healthy
  4. Lose weight
  5. Maintain a better diet
  6. Make more time for family
  7. Quit smoking

What is Quitter’s day?

Quitter’s day is typically the second Friday in January. It’s the day people are most likely to give up on their New Year’s resolutions. A day meant to reenergize and motivate, Quitter’s day is widely recognized to encourage and equip people to try again and succeed.

What are some fun New Year’s resolutions?

Fun New Year’s resolutions ideas will vary greatly depending on each person. Ultimately, a resolution can be about picking up something new that you think you might enjoy doing and making it into habit. It can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. Some fun New Year's resolutions include:

  • Making new friends
  • Reading more
  • Taking up a new hobby
  • Drinking more water
  • Volunteering
  • Joining a club
  • Writing in a journal
  • Cooking more often
  • Breaking a record
  • Learning a party trick

What are some healthy New Year’s resolutions?

Healthy resolutions for New Year’s can include anything that promotes physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing. Healthy habits can run the gamut from doing 10 minutes of daily exercise to adding more green foods to your diet. Here are some healthy New Year’s resolution ideas:

  • Sitting less and moving more
  • Getting more sleep
  • Keeping your annual doctor’s appointments
  • Taking the stairs
  • Adding healthier foods to your diet
  • Avoiding added sugars
  • Meditating
  • Getting your vitamins
  • Making efforts to reduce stress
  • Connecting with loved ones

What are SMART goals for a New Year’s resolution?

“SMART” is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. A goal-setting guide, if your resolutions follow the SMART structure, you’ll be more likely to fulfill the goals you set for the year. Following the SMART process, it’s easier to put words into action and chart a path towards success.