How to set realistic New Year's resolutions

Setting New Year’s resolutions is easy. It’s sticking to them that’s the hard part. Of those who make resolutions, only 8% achieve them.

So what can you do differently this January to ensure that your New Year’s resolutions last? Well, the secret is setting realistic goals. Here are our top tips on how to set achievable goals for your New Year’s resolution.

Don't make too many resolutions

Choose just one realistic goal. If you choose too many, you will be spreading yourself too thin and be less likely to achieve any of your resolutions. You may disappoint yourself by being too ambitious.

Small steps is key. It is absolutely crucial to establish small, tangible steps that will lead you towards your bigger, overarching goal.

For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to run a half-marathon, create short achievable plans to run short distances until you can do the full length. Try setting small, but realistic goals:

1. Go for a run twice a week

2. Sign-up for a 6 mile run in March

3. Download an app with a half-marathon training plan

4. Join a running group

Congratulate yourself

Schedule rewards for yourself along the way. Praising your achievement at each milestone will keep you more motivated along your journey than if you wait until the very end to be rewarded.

Try rewarding yourself with a brand new pair of running shoes as soon as you complete those 6 miles.

Write it down

One way to stay committed to these goals is by writing it down, either in your journal or on a piece a paper that you can pin to your wall. Make sure your notes are posted somewhere that is visible enough to remind you every day. Write down all your goals, the small steps you will take to achieve them, and the rewards you will receive along the way.

Publicize your goals to friends and family

By telling your friends or family about your New Year’s resolutions, you will be accountable to someone other than yourself. Asking them to check in on your progress every once in awhile will keep you motivated and on track.

Have a plan for dealing with missteps

Progress isn’t a straight line. There will be a lot of setbacks along the way to achieving your New Year’s resolution. But the best thing you can do is create an action plan in case you fall off track. And don’t let the setbacks stop you from continuing on!

If you miss one day of running in your half-marathon training plan, how will you deal with that? One idea is adding a mile onto your next scheduled run. That way, you are still achieving your small milestones and are deterred from missing another scheduled run.

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