How to accomplish your new year’s resolutions

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Maybe you plan to ring in 2021 with a new resolve to quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, not sweat the small stuff. And maybe these resolutions sound familiar — maybe just like the ones you made a year ago!

So how can you ensure that your determination to get healthier in 2021 sticks around past Valentine’s Day? By creating new habits.

Creating new habits takes time and energy. A new behavior won’t become automatic overnight, but you may enjoy some of its benefits fairly quickly. Also, as you start to take walks regularly or engage in stress-soothing practices frequently, you’ll find you won’t feel quite right if you stop. That’s a great incentive to continue. So, keep nudging yourself in the direction you’d like to go. And try the following seven tips to help you create long-lasting change.

1. Dream big. Audacious goals are compelling. Want to compete in a marathon or triathlon? Lose 50 pounds or just enough to fit into clothes you once loved? With perseverance, encouragement, and support, you can do it. An ambitious aim often inspires others around you. Many will cheer you on. Some will be happy to help in practical ways, such as by training with you or taking on tasks you normally handle in order to free up your time.

2. Break big dreams into small-enough steps. Now think tiny. Small steps move you forward to your ultimate goal. Look for surefire bets. Just getting to first base can build your confidence to tackle — and succeed at — more difficult tasks. Don’t disdain easy choices. If you start every plan with “Make list,” you’re guaranteed to check one box off quickly. That’s no joke: a study on loyalty programs that aim to motivate consumers found giving people two free punches on a frequent-buyer card encouraged repeat business. So break hard jobs down into smaller line items, and enjoy breezing through the easy tasks first.

3. Understand why you shouldn’t make a change. That’s right. Until you grasp why you’re sticking like a burr to old habits and routines, it may be hard to muster enough energy and will to take a hard left toward change. Unhealthy behaviors like overeating and smoking have immediate, pleasurable payoffs as well as costs. So, when you’re considering a change, take time to think it through. You boost your chance of success when the balance of pluses and minuses tips enough to make adopting a new behavior more attractive than standing in place. Engaging in enjoyable aspects of an unhealthy behavior, without the behavior itself, helps too. For example, if you enjoy taking a break while having a smoke, take the break and enjoy it, but find healthier ways to do so. Otherwise, you’re working against a headwind and are less likely to experience lasting success.

4. Commit yourself. Make yourself accountable through a written or verbal promise to people you don’t want to let down. That will encourage you to slog through tough spots. One intrepid soul created a Facebook page devoted to her goals for weight loss. You can make a less public promise to your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends. Want more support? Post your promise on Facebook, tweet it to your followers, or seek out folks with like-minded goals online.

5. Give yourself a medal. Don’t wait to call yourself a winner until you’ve pounded through the last mile of your big dream marathon or lost every unwanted ounce. Health changes are often incremental. Encourage yourself to keep at it by pausing to acknowledge success as you tick off small and big steps en route to a goal. Blast your favorite tune each time you reach 5,000 steps. Get a pat on the back from your coach or spouse. Ask family and friends to cheer you on. Look for an online support group.

6. Learn from the past. Any time you fail to make a change, consider it a step toward your goal. Why? Because each sincere attempt represents a lesson learned. When you hit a snag, take a moment to think about what did and didn’t work. Maybe you took on too big a challenge? If so, scale back to a less ambitious challenge, or break the big one into tinier steps. If nailing down 30 consecutive minutes to exercise never seems to work on busy days, break that down by aiming for three 10-minute walks — one before work, one during lunch, one after work — or a 20-minute walk at lunch plus a 10-minute mix of marching, stair climbing, and jumping rope or similar activities slipped into your TV schedule.

7. Give thanks for what you do. Forget perfection. Set your sights on finishing that marathon, not on running it. If you compete to complete, you’ll be a winner even if you wind up walking as much as you run. With exercise — and so many other goals we set — you’ll benefit even when doing less than you’d like to do. Any activity is always better than none. If your goal for Tuesday is a 30-minute workout at the gym, but you only squeeze in 10 minutes, feel grateful for that. It’s enough. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Making a change can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Get the Special Health Report, Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A practical, easy guide for healthy, happy living to learn how to incorporate simple changes into your life that can reap big rewards.

Image: filo/Getty Images

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have you been setting New Year’s Resolutions year after year without ever taking the first step to accomplishing it? Or have you, at least, attempted only to fall short soon after and give up?

Life is full of things that can consume your time and prevent you from fulfilling your plans. If you find it difficult to make and keep goals, you’re not alone. Research has shown that while almost half of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of them are successful at achieving them.

So why even set New Year’s Resolutions if the odds are against you reaching them?

Without clearly defined objectives, it’s impossible to be successful in life. When you know what you want, you are more likely to change your behaviors to get it. Setting goals and working hard to achieve them provides a sense of accomplishment. When you have a purpose and mission, life comes into focus and your energy is spent on healthy pursuits.

7 Proven Strategies To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

1. Set Realistic Goals

Goal-setting isn’t having a vague idea of something you’d like to obtain at some undetermined point in the future. The time to be intentional is now. Write down your resolutions in a calendar and then review them every day to make progress toward completing them. Making realistic goals that you can focus on daily will make a significant difference in your outlook on life.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

2. Find a Fitness Friend

One of the best ways to achieve fitness goals is to exercise with a partner or in a group. Besides making a workout more fun and interactive, having a buddy to keep you accountable on days when you feel like slacking off can be a huge help. Plus, you’ll be less likely to hit the snooze button when your fitness friend is counting on you to join them at the gym or for a morning jog.

3. Get Nutritional SupportHow to accomplish your new year's resolutions

If one of your resolutions is to sharpen mental focus and boost your energy, getting nutritional support is a must. For starters, try taking a good multi-vitamin with vitamin B6, D, and magnesium. Then add other supplements to boost mood, focus, or memory. Properly fueling your brain and body can also help support your daily performance and help you accomplish all your goals.

4. Prioritize Your Goals

If working on all your goals at once becomes overwhelming, set up a hierarchy. Select a few things you absolutely must accomplish, several things you want to complete and many things that would be nice to finish by the end of the year. Not only will this pyramid structure allow you to focus your time and energy on the essentials, it will also help to reduce the debilitating pressure of trying to juggle so many objectives at one time.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions5. Ready to Get Sweaty?

The most common resolutions involve diet and exercise. Maintaining a consistent fitness plan can be a challenge in today’s busy world. To increase your chances of reaching your New Year’s goals, set yourself up for mind-body success. Get motivated and ramp up your workout routines by attending a group hike, bike class, or Pilates sessions 2-3 times a week for one month. Above all, find physical activities that you enjoy…exercise doesn’t have to be a chore.

6. One-page Miracle (OPM)

What all successful people have in common is a sense of personal responsibility and clear-cut objectives. An OPM will help you make better choices, which will enable you to achieve more in life. Write down the specific goals you have for each major area of your life. Then ask yourself every day, “Is my behavior getting me what I want?” This simple but profound activity can aid the process of turning your thoughts into reality. Click here for tips on how to create your own OPM.

7. Treat YourselfHow to accomplish your new year's resolutions

It’s important to celebrate your wins. When establishing your exercise goals, write down the reward you’ll get once you attain that goal. But simplify your goals in the process and create markers of accomplishment. For example, instead of saying you’ll celebrate when you lose 20 lbs., which could take months, set goals like consistently working out 3x a week. Then celebrate at the end of the week or two weeks. These wins will keep you motivated. Ideas to celebrate: treat yourself to a massage or a movie night.

Set yourself up for success in the New Year by implementing some or all of these strategies and supporting your brain and body with Dr. Amen’s supplements. Choose which ones are for you at BrainMD.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

1. Make attainable goals.

Set yourself up for success by making goals that you will be able to achieve. Even the smallest of goals can have the biggest rewards. If you strive to work out more, start with 30-minute increments 1-2 days a week, giving yourself a milestone to build on. If 2020 has left you in the dumps and you want to work on your mental health, consider writing a journal entry once a week and building up to 2-3 days a week. Need a mental health session, teletherapy is the way to go.

2. Write them down.

Forbes describes the neuroscience behind writing your goals down, stating that vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success. Writing your goals down makes them more realistic by visually seeing them whether you use words or pictures. Also, when we write things down, we use a part of our brain that transitions information to our long-term memory by level of importance. Therefore, the information about your goal is stored for reference and leads to a greater level of achievement.

3. Share with others for accountability.

If you’ve ever worked out at a gym with a partner or trainer, it is likely you choose to share that experience with another person to hold you accountable. Accountability holds you responsible for being honest in your actions and doing what is required to achieve your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions. Humans are innate people pleasers, and within that characteristic is the need to prove to others that we deserve praise for achieving what we have set out to do.

4. Positive affirmations.

One of the most popular books related to the science behind positive affirmations is called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Positive affirmations are encouraging reminders and statements that help you embrace positive thinking and self-motivation. This method of thinking has a positive influence on greater success in reaching your goals.

The Psychological Theory Behind Positive Affirmations

One of the key psychological theories behind positive affirmations is self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988). So, yes, there are empirical studies based on the idea that we can maintain our sense of self-integrity by telling ourselves (or affirming) what we believe in positive ways.

5. Progress, not perfection.

The key in successfully reaching your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions is to strive for progress, not perfection. Striving to make small gains towards each goal makes the process much easier and enjoyable. Focusing on progress keeps you motivated and empowered to look back on the progress you have made rather than what challenges may lie ahead.

6. Try something new each month.

Keeping your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions new and interesting can help you be successful in reaching your goals. If you want to work out more, change up your activity and routine each month. If your goal is to eat healthier, introduce a new food each month into your rotation. This could be a vegetable or nutritious shake. If trying something new each month seems drawn out and boring, you can try the “Do Something New Every Day” challenge. Here’s a link for some inspirational ideas from Myrelle Oliver.

7. Make goals around what you like.

For a goal to be successful, it has to be centered around something you enjoy. Vegans will probably not take up fishing, and a fisherman will probably not do Pilates. If you’re more into burgers and brats and less into broccoli, consider throwing a multi-vitamin into the mix rather than forcing yourself to eat tiny trees. Think about something you are currently doing and expand on it in a healthy direction.

Looking for some motivational quotes to help jump start your 2021? Check this list out that includes quotes from Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare.

American Online Benefits Group offers solutions to keep your health on track. Please contact our Agent or Member Services to receive more information at 214-389-9072.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Maybe you plan to ring in 2021 with a new resolve to quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, not sweat the small stuff. And maybe these resolutions sound familiar — maybe just like the ones you made a year ago!

So how can you ensure that your determination to get healthier in 2021 sticks around past Valentine’s Day? By creating new habits.

Creating new habits takes time and energy. A new behavior won’t become automatic overnight, but you may enjoy some of its benefits fairly quickly. Also, as you start to take walks regularly or engage in stress-soothing practices frequently, you’ll find you won’t feel quite right if you stop. That’s a great incentive to continue. So, keep nudging yourself in the direction you’d like to go. And try the following seven tips to help you create long-lasting change.

1. Dream big. Audacious goals are compelling. Want to compete in a marathon or triathlon? Lose 50 pounds or just enough to fit into clothes you once loved? With perseverance, encouragement, and support, you can do it. An ambitious aim often inspires others around you. Many will cheer you on. Some will be happy to help in practical ways, such as by training with you or taking on tasks you normally handle in order to free up your time.

2. Break big dreams into small-enough steps. Now think tiny. Small steps move you forward to your ultimate goal. Look for surefire bets. Just getting to first base can build your confidence to tackle — and succeed at — more difficult tasks. Don’t disdain easy choices. If you start every plan with “Make list,” you’re guaranteed to check one box off quickly. That’s no joke: a study on loyalty programs that aim to motivate consumers found giving people two free punches on a frequent-buyer card encouraged repeat business. So break hard jobs down into smaller line items, and enjoy breezing through the easy tasks first.

3. Understand why you shouldn’t make a change. That’s right. Until you grasp why you’re sticking like a burr to old habits and routines, it may be hard to muster enough energy and will to take a hard left toward change. Unhealthy behaviors like overeating and smoking have immediate, pleasurable payoffs as well as costs. So, when you’re considering a change, take time to think it through. You boost your chance of success when the balance of pluses and minuses tips enough to make adopting a new behavior more attractive than standing in place. Engaging in enjoyable aspects of an unhealthy behavior, without the behavior itself, helps too. For example, if you enjoy taking a break while having a smoke, take the break and enjoy it, but find healthier ways to do so. Otherwise, you’re working against a headwind and are less likely to experience lasting success.

4. Commit yourself. Make yourself accountable through a written or verbal promise to people you don’t want to let down. That will encourage you to slog through tough spots. One intrepid soul created a Facebook page devoted to her goals for weight loss. You can make a less public promise to your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends. Want more support? Post your promise on Facebook, tweet it to your followers, or seek out folks with like-minded goals online.

5. Give yourself a medal. Don’t wait to call yourself a winner until you’ve pounded through the last mile of your big dream marathon or lost every unwanted ounce. Health changes are often incremental. Encourage yourself to keep at it by pausing to acknowledge success as you tick off small and big steps en route to a goal. Blast your favorite tune each time you reach 5,000 steps. Get a pat on the back from your coach or spouse. Ask family and friends to cheer you on. Look for an online support group.

6. Learn from the past. Any time you fail to make a change, consider it a step toward your goal. Why? Because each sincere attempt represents a lesson learned. When you hit a snag, take a moment to think about what did and didn’t work. Maybe you took on too big a challenge? If so, scale back to a less ambitious challenge, or break the big one into tinier steps. If nailing down 30 consecutive minutes to exercise never seems to work on busy days, break that down by aiming for three 10-minute walks — one before work, one during lunch, one after work — or a 20-minute walk at lunch plus a 10-minute mix of marching, stair climbing, and jumping rope or similar activities slipped into your TV schedule.

7. Give thanks for what you do. Forget perfection. Set your sights on finishing that marathon, not on running it. If you compete to complete, you’ll be a winner even if you wind up walking as much as you run. With exercise — and so many other goals we set — you’ll benefit even when doing less than you’d like to do. Any activity is always better than none. If your goal for Tuesday is a 30-minute workout at the gym, but you only squeeze in 10 minutes, feel grateful for that. It’s enough. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Making a change can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Get the Special Health Report, Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A practical, easy guide for healthy, happy living to learn how to incorporate simple changes into your life that can reap big rewards.

Image: filo/Getty Images

Share this page:

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  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google Plus
  • Email this page

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Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutionsDid you set any new year’s resolutions this year? We’re now several days into the year, those who set resolutions often fall into two camps:

1) Those who are still gung-ho, motivated and building new habits

2) Those who have forgotten, lost interest, decided to quit or didn’t really intend on doing said thing anyway

To help you either stay motivated or re-commit to your resolutions, you need to start at the source and ask yourself some potentially tough questions.

Why Did you Set a New Years Resolution Anyway?

This is probably a hard one. Take some time to sit down with your list of resolutions and reflect. What caused you to choose them? Are they really your goals or someone else’s? Do you really want the outcome associated with the resolution?

For example, let’s say your resolution this year is to lose 15 pounds. In theory most people would say they’d like to lose some weight, but do you really? Are you willing to put in the work to make this happen? Are you just trying to do this because you think your partner will like you more or you will look better come bikini season? If you aren’t really wanting to lose the weight or don’t have strong motivations (like health, confidence, etc.), you will not succeed in keeping your resolution.

Refine Your New Years Resolutions

Once you understand where your motivations for the resolution(s) came from, you might need to refine them to be more realistic. The best resolutions are:

Achievable – Setting a goal that you will never achieve might keep you motivated, or it’ll lead to quitting. The best goals or resolutions are ones that, with the right amount of effort, are able to be achieved.

Appropriate – Your resolution must be something that is appropriate to you, your lifestyle and your health. Don’t set out looking to run a marathon if you have a bum knee. You’ll get injured and fail. Really consider the flaws in your resolution. Maybe right now isn’t the right time to start. Consider doing a mid-year resolution or a March resolution.

Consider your list and make sure you didn’t choose too many resolutions. Start with one or two, depending on their complexity and perhaps add in more components later. Trying to do too much from the outset will lead to failure. Creating new habits takes 21 days or so, depending who you ask, and trying to create too many habits as once is just too much to focus on.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Now that you understand your resolutions and have refined them to be appropriate and achievable, you need to hold yourself accountable. Most people’s resolutions barely make it through January. Some are too hard, others don’t have the time to devote but I suspect most failures come from lack of accountability and follow-through.

Changing habits and setting personal goals is not easy. It take dedication, discipline and determination. If you’re lacking these, it’s not going to happen. You can’t just say, “my resolutions this year is to make more money,” and then keep doing what you have been doing. You have to plan. You have to act. You have to take matters into your own hands.

For those with fitness or health goals, you might start by joining a gym, finding a workout buddy, searching for a 5K run plan online, planning weekly meal charts, researching exercises, etc. These all take effort. Some take money. All take planning and commitment.

For real life changes, you have to want it. You have to put in the work. And you have to stick with it. Change does not happen overnight.

Create a Plan and Celebrate Success

First create a plan. It can be basic and simple or robust and specific, depending on your personality. Perhaps you start with weekly check-ins or a list of monthly to-do’s. If, at the end of the year, you want X to happen (weigh 15 lbs less, make 10% more, etc.), start at December and work backwards. What has to happen every day/week/month/quarter to achieve your resolution? If you want to lose 15 pounds, perhaps 1 pound per week is appropriate. That means you’ll need 15 weeks. Map out those weeks, including exercise days/times and nutrition planning. Perhaps you sit down every Sunday to plan the coming week. Put workouts in your calendar to help you do them. Perhaps you meet with a nutritionist a couple times. Each resolution will require a different plan.

And importantly, celebrate your successes. If you’re the unmotivated type (like me), consider a weekly “prize” for your efforts. If you made it to the gym three times and didn’t splurge on ice cream or dessert (for example), have one simple snack or go out to a movie. Don’t make it so grand that you set yourself back and make sure the prizes are worth it to you, but be sure to take time to acknowledge your hard work and sacrifice.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all falter, we all fall off the wagon. The beauty is you can always recommit to your resolutions. After all, the best day to take action is today.

Now it’s your turn! Did you set resolutions and if so, how is it going? Share your resolutions in the comments and if you have strategies that work, share them for your peers to see.

‘The resolution that is unrealistic is the resolution that fails’

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[This article was originally published in 2019]

New Year’s resolutions are notorious for never being achieved.

We seem to make the same mistake over and over – shooting ourselves in the foot by setting near impossible goals.

We refuse to believe that we can’t lose five stone in a year, even if we’ve lost zero stone in the last ten years. We convince ourselves that we can absolutely quit smoking entirely after being on twenty a day since the age of sixteen.

As one Quora user says “Everyone I know who goes to a gym regularly dreads January and can’t wait until the end of March…know why? Because everyone with all the good intentions to hit the gym every week start in January and fizzle out by the end of March.”

Thankfully, several wise men and women on Quora have offered up some advice to help set realistic , achievable goals and – most importantly – actually achieve those goals.

Six healthy breakfast recipes to try

1) Cook your turkey breast so that it’s ready to add to the mix later on. Best to grill it and then chop it up as it’s healthier than shallow frying. 2) Meanwhile, heat the oil and add your onion, pepper, chilli, mushrooms and celery to your pan. Cook these for around five minutes until your veg is nice and soft. 3) Whisk your eggs and milk together in a separate bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper. 4) Add the egg mixture, veg, cooked turkey and cheese to a high-sided baking pan or tin and cook in your oven for around 15 minutes at 170C.” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/01/25/12/Turkey-and-Veg-Frittata.jpg?width=320&height=614&fit=bounds&format=pjpg&crop=16%3A9%2Coffset-y0.5&auto=webp&quality=75 320w, https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/01/25/12/Turkey-and-Veg-Frittata.jpg?width=640&height=614&fit=bounds&format=pjpg&crop=16%3A9%2Coffset-y0.5&auto=webp&quality=75 640w” width=”640″ layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

1) Boil your asparagus in water for around five minutes. 2) Meanwhile, mix your eggs and egg whites in a jug, and add a splash of skimmed milk. Chop some peppers up and throw them in too. 3) Once your asparagus is cooked, drain it and chop into smaller chunks. Add these to your egg mixture. 4) Whisk your mixture and season with salt and pepper. 5) Pour the mix into a hot pan with a small knob of butter or a teaspoon of quality olive oil. 6) Cook the omelette for around 90 seconds to two minutes. 7) Once the bottom is cooked, take the pan off the hob and place under the grill for another 30 seconds to a minute in order to cook the top. 8) Serve with your smoked salmon.” width=”135″ height=”75″ layout=”responsive” i-amphtml-layout=”responsive”>

1 /6 Six healthy breakfast recipes to try

1) Cook your turkey breast so that it’s ready to add to the mix later on. Best to grill it and then chop it up as it’s healthier than shallow frying. 2) Meanwhile, heat the oil and add your onion, pepper, chilli, mushrooms and celery to your pan. Cook these for around five minutes until your veg is nice and soft. 3) Whisk your eggs and milk together in a separate bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper. 4) Add the egg mixture, veg, cooked turkey and cheese to a high-sided baking pan or tin and cook in your oven for around 15 minutes at 170C.” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/01/25/12/Turkey-and-Veg-Frittata.jpg?width=1368&auto=webp&quality=75 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Six healthy breakfast recipes to try

1) Cook your turkey breast so that it’s ready to add to the mix later on. Best to grill it and then chop it up as it’s healthier than shallow frying. 2) Meanwhile, heat the oil and add your onion, pepper, chilli, mushrooms and celery to your pan. Cook these for around five minutes until your veg is nice and soft. 3) Whisk your eggs and milk together in a separate bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper. 4) Add the egg mixture, veg, cooked turkey and cheese to a high-sided baking pan or tin and cook in your oven for around 15 minutes at 170C.

DW Fitness Clubs

Six healthy breakfast recipes to try

DW Fitness Clubs

1) Boil your asparagus in water for around five minutes. 2) Meanwhile, mix your eggs and egg whites in a jug, and add a splash of skimmed milk. Chop some peppers up and throw them in too. 3) Once your asparagus is cooked, drain it and chop into smaller chunks. Add these to your egg mixture. 4) Whisk your mixture and season with salt and pepper. 5) Pour the mix into a hot pan with a small knob of butter or a teaspoon of quality olive oil. 6) Cook the omelette for around 90 seconds to two minutes. 7) Once the bottom is cooked, take the pan off the hob and place under the grill for another 30 seconds to a minute in order to cook the top. 8) Serve with your smoked salmon.” srcset=”https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/01/25/12/Salmon-Omlette.jpg?width=1368&auto=webp&quality=75 1368w” layout=”fill” i-amphtml-layout=”fill”>

Six healthy breakfast recipes to try

1) Boil your asparagus in water for around five minutes. 2) Meanwhile, mix your eggs and egg whites in a jug, and add a splash of skimmed milk. Chop some peppers up and throw them in too. 3) Once your asparagus is cooked, drain it and chop into smaller chunks. Add these to your egg mixture. 4) Whisk your mixture and season with salt and pepper. 5) Pour the mix into a hot pan with a small knob of butter or a teaspoon of quality olive oil. 6) Cook the omelette for around 90 seconds to two minutes. 7) Once the bottom is cooked, take the pan off the hob and place under the grill for another 30 seconds to a minute in order to cook the top. 8) Serve with your smoked salmon.

It’s that time of year again: everyone’s making new year’s resolutions. With ongoing lists of new hopes and dreams, we’re all encouraged to become better people and leave the negativity from the past year behind. However, most years we find ourselves losing sight of those dreams by around March (and perhaps that’s a stretch). Not this year. This year, stay determined and stick to your goals. Here’s how to actually achieve your new year’s resolutions.

Write down your goals.

Digitally or on paper, keeping track of your goals is the first way to gain clarity on what this next year is going to look like. You might trust your memory, but with all the tasks that come up, you may forget about an endeavor you had on your mind. Additionally, you will be motivated to check an item off the list.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Categorize your goals.

I typically like sectioning off my resolutions into categories of school and personal. When your mind creates a distinction, your long list of goals will feel more achievable.

Divide the goal into smaller timely goals.

How I like to look at it is this: you have yearly goals which you divide into monthly goals, which are divided into weekly goals, which are divided into daily goals. Once again, this makes the task at hand seem less daunting.

Suppose you want to read 12 books by the end of the year. Your monthly goal would be to read 1 book each month. Depending on how busy your schedule for the month is and how long the book is, you could decide how many chapters you want to read each week. In your daily to-do list, you would aim to finish a certain number of pages or chapters.

Revisit your list often.

One thing I did last year that helped me achieve my new year’s resolutions was to check my list every week. This may seem too often, but that’s the best way to hold yourself accountable. A lot of people forget what their goals were and this prevents them from achieving them. I also find that looking at how ambitious I was in January motivates me to keep that same energy throughout the year.

Start small if necessary.

Recognizing whether your goal is realistic will save you some time from trying to achieve it. So many people have the goal of working out every day. This isn’t a bad goal, but it may be telling you something if that has been your new year’s resolution for the last couple of years. In this example, you can start by working out once or twice a week, and slowly build up after a few months.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Alter your goals as the year progresses.

Sometimes, life happens. We can’t control it. All of a sudden, that positive mindset you were in a couple of months ago isn’t there anymore. In these cases, don’t completely give up. Remember, baby steps still move us forward. Alter your goal to be more practical and realize that you are still progressing. Better some progress than none.

The main theme to achieving your new year’s resolutions is breaking it down into smaller goals. If you bite more than you can chew, you will be discouraged early on. It takes commitment, dedication, and hard work, and with systematic planning, your new year’s resolutions won’t feel like an out-of-reach goal.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

The holiday season has officially come to a close, and the new year is upon us! And that means you’re probably thinking about what resolutions you hope to achieve in 2020. Resolutions can be tough to keep, but sometimes, just taking the first step is the hardest. Make it easier with some of these great, discounted products that will get you started and achieve your New Year’s goals!

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Some of the most common resolutions made during the new year are fitness related, but they can be some of the most difficult to begin. Whether your goal is to get to the gym more often, add a new workout to your routine, or simply to walk more, new equipment can make it easier (and more fun!) to get started!

Go to the Gym More

If you’re hoping to ramp up your fitness efforts in the new year, a gym membership is a fantastic way to start. But unfortunately, gym memberships can often be incredibly costly, which is a hurdle many people struggle to get past. This year, invest in a gym membership that doesn’t break the bank! With your Discount Program, you can enjoy discounted monthly fees and no activation cost for many local and national gyms.

Invest in New Workout Gear

Sometimes doing the same old workout can feel boring or stale, which leaves you less motivated to get your regular exercise in. If your goal is to switch up your workout, getting the necessary equipment is an important first step! Want to exercise in style? Check out JackRabbit workout gear, which comes with a discount of $30 on orders of $150 or more! Need to give your body a good massage after a tough workout? Theragun devices will give you a full body massage, and they’re 20% off when you go through your Discount Program.

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Remember, not all health-related resolutions are fitness related! For some, a resolution that focuses on improving what you put into your body each day is the most important one. If that’s the case for you, here are some products that can get your health on the right track!

Eat Healthier

Are you hoping to improve your diet in the new year? A plant-based diet might be just the thing you’re looking for. But keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you’re cutting out meat completely. Instead, you’re putting a stronger emphasis on including plants, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and beans in your diet. The benefit? It can decrease the chance of high blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes, and improve or reverse chronic disease. If you’re wondering how to get started, look no further! Purple Carrot’s meal delivery service sends delicious, plant-based recipes and ingredients every week to make things easy. Get $35 off your first meal kit with your Discount Program!

Take Your Daily Vitamins

How often do you tell yourself you need to start taking more vitamins, protein, or supplements to help your health? After all, their benefits are endless: they can boost your immune system, improve sleep, strengthen bones, give you extra energy, and much more! But knowing which vitamins you need can be confusing – that’s why Care/of created an easy, 5-minute quiz that will help develop a personal recommendation of the vitamins and supplements you should be taking to achieve optimal health!

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

Self-care seemed to be the hot topic a few years back, but it was no fad. Three years later, self-care is just as important as it ever was, but for different people, it can mean different things. If your New Year’s resolution is to work on your self-care, there’s a number of different things you can do to achieve that. Here are two of our favorites!

Travel More

Travel is an important part of any self-care routine. It can help lower stress, burnout, and even the risk of heart attack! But when planning a trip, it’s easy for costs to add up quickly. Check out your Discount Program, where you can find fantastic hotels up to 42% off publicly available rates. Whether you choose to refresh with a weekend on the beach or a sightseeing tour, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you saved money on your travels!

Read More Books

Practicing self-care doesn’t mean completely altering your normal routine for a new and improved one. Even small changes in your life can help better how you care for yourself. Need some inspiration? One of the best (and easiest) ways to improve self-care is to pick up a book every now and then – specifically an audiobook! You can revisit some of your favorite stories or dive into new ones with Audiobooks.com. Enjoy a discounted monthly subscription, plus 2 free books, when you sign up through your company’s Discount Program!

How to accomplish your new year's resolutions

How long has some sort of finance-related goal been on your to-do list? You’re not alone. 70% of American adults believe their financial planning needs improvement. Sometimes, the best way to get started is with some assistance. Check out these inexpensive financial services that can give you a hand!

Pay Off Your Loans

The stress of paying off student loans can be one of the most pressing topics on our brains. The best way to do it? Refinancing! When you qualify for a refinanced student loan, you can get a lower monthly payment, pay your loans off faster, and decrease your debt! Make it a bit easier with CommonBond, who will help you finally take control of your student debt. Plus, you can get a $200 bonus when you sign up through your Discount Program!

Invest Your Money

For some, growing their finances is number one on their list of priorities. Investing is one of the best ways to do so, but getting a good understanding of investment practices is tough. In fact, one in five Americans says they don’t invest because they simply don’t know how. Stash Invest makes investing both easy and approachable, with immediate access to personalized tips, recommendations, and guidance. Sign up today and Stash will get you started with a $10 bonus to invest with!

No matter what your resolution is, make it that much easier by checking out some great, discounted products that will help you stay on track all year long!

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