The Secret To Keeping New Year's Resolutions
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The Secret To Keeping New Year's Resolutions

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The Secret To Keeping New Year's Resolutions
The Boston Calendar

It’s the New Year and people all around the world are poring over their lists of ambitious resolutions.

Whether it’s going to the gym, eating healthier or mastering a new skill, resolutions are made to better ourselves as people. They’re things we want to do. So why is it that only 8 percent of Americans keep their resolutions?

For the first month, spirits seem high. According to, 64 percent of resolutions last past the first month, which is more than I would have assumed.

But that’s still a lot of dead resolutions. How do we keep our promises for ourselves in 2017?

The problem is that these are more than promises. They are expectations that we set for ourselves. Especially in the United States, the pressure to fulfill those expectations is huge. The pressure to fulfill those quickly and successfully is even bigger.

So, what do we get?

Gym memberships rising in January and being canceled in February. Thousands of programs flooded with inevitably withdrawn applications, airlines with bookings, cigarette sales dropping – and then evening out to its usual medium in a few months.

The trick to keeping these resolutions is, like most everything in life, balance. Trying to start all your resolutions in January is a recipe for failure. To be successful in all your resolutions in January is near superhuman.

Prioritize your promises. What is the most important to you? If you want to learn how to knit more than you want to lose weight, do that first. If you want to quit smoking before you organize the things in your attic, do it.

Give time to each of these. Take a knitting class or buy a kit and give it your time until you have a firm grasp on the art. Then sign up for Weight Watchers. Trying to do multiple life altering things is overwhelming, to say the least. Giving yourself time to do each one separately or truly get started is time you and your goal deserve. No one ever learned how to master anything in a week. Don’t expect yourself to, either. You have a whole year to start your resolutions. Use it.

While priorities are important, you should also be logical about the order in which to tackle your resolutions. If you want to start saving money, you should start that first and keep it as a consistent practice. Put 10 percent of every paycheck into a savings account. Start a swear jar.

Some resolutions need a smaller start and a more processional execution. If you want to spend more time with your family, that doesn’t mean you need to see them every day. Schedule a lunch with your cousin. Go to one of your grandmother’s Sunday dinners. Fly in a day earlier for your uncle’s wedding.

Small but consistent behaviors make up a much larger picture in the end.

With this in mind, however, be mindful that you don’t only have this year to keep all your promises. Many people look at New Year’s as a blank slate. And while it certainly can be that, it doesn’t mean that you have to start all over.

Didn’t reach that goal weight? Still don’t have enough money for your dream vacation? Keep exercising. Keep saving. A new year doesn’t mean stopping your old goals just to set new ones. Incorporate them into your new resolutions. Try to eat healthier in addition to exercising. Tighten your budget. Work around the expectations you have for yourself.

New Year’s can be a surprisingly stressful time for people trying to keep their resolutions. Hopefully, some of these tips can alleviate the pressure and you can make 2017 your best year yet.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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