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How to Make Resolutions That Actually Stick

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New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays (I realize this makes me a weirdo). While some might feel overwhelmed by having to make a “fresh start” every year, I love it -- particularly the self-improvement aspect of it. I believe that New Year’s is a time to make small, meaningful changes. Kristina’s resolution to read more books last year is one I had as well, and for me it was great to rediscover a hobby I had always loved but sometimes failed to make time for.

2019 is a big year for me with my wedding coming up in April, so I put a lot of thought into my resolutions for the year. A wedding is a huge motivator, but it can be hard to keep other resolutions. Below are some of my favorite tips for making sure your resolutions stick!


Understand the Why and Make a Plan 

Saying you want to “lose weight” without thinking about why you want to lose weight/what has been keeping you from losing weight isn’t helpful. An ambiguous resolution without a clear “why” is pretty hard to keep. And a resolution without a plan is impossible to keep.

Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and make a plan to give yourself the best chance of achieving your goal. One reason I want to eat healthy this year is because (aside from having hundreds of people stare at me at my wedding) my grandma has dementia, and it’s been progressing quickly over the last couple of months.  There is evidence that what you eat affects your risk for dementia, and even though there are surely some aspects of luck and genetics involved, I want to do what I can now to try to prevent this disease. In order to make sure I eat healthy 80% of the time, I neurotically meal plan. I plan ahead to give myself the best shot at success, and understanding my “why” has driven me to eat healthy in the past (even when I didn’t have a wedding looming!).

Write It Down

You made a plan – great! Now write it down. There’s something about putting pen to paper that makes me feel more tied to whatever I’m writing down, whether it’s a resolution or a plan to achieve a goal. Don't just take my word for it -- it's science!

Writing down your resolutions and plans to achieve them means you always have something to refer back to (and what's better than checking something major off your list once you've achieved it?!). You can always course-correct and get back on track if you hold yourself to what you've written. Again, being a neurotic planner, it probably comes as no surprise that I use planners religiously. I just bought a new planner for 2019, and I’m hoping that writing down weekly and monthly goals (including workouts, meal plans, and work to-do’s) will keep me on track this year.

Writing something down means its official, so write it all down!

Find Support

Resolutions are always easier to keep with the support of others. My fiancé and I are both attempting dry January – it’s much easier to do together. We did Whole30 together a few years ago, and basically do any diet I attempt together (not necessarily by choice…sorry, Kevin).

Signing up for workout classes with friends can be a huge motivator (and a great way to socialize during the week!). It’s always easier to do something hard if you’ve got someone you like at your side. Find a support group to help you stick to your resolutions  -- your friends, your mom, your partner – anyone who can hold you accountable and make reaching your goals more fun.

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