How to Make a New Year’s Resolution You Can Actually Stick To

Young woman stepping onto weight scale

New year. New decade. New you. Right? Well, maybe. But before you start the self-improvement movie montage, we’ve got some advice to turn your New Year’s resolution into a lifestyle that sticks. The hard truth is that 80% of resolutions fail. And they don’t just fail, they fail fast and hard, with most people climbing off the New Year’s wellness wagon by February. Experts agree that’s because we throw ourselves into the deep end without ever learning to swim. 

Whether you’re working towards a fitness goal, want to revamp your relationship with food, or finally have time for that dream hobby, we’ve got your back. By looking at your motivations, making gradual changes, and working SMARTer, not harder, you’ll transform your New Year’s resolution into a year-round pursuit. 

Be honest, why do you want to change what you’re changing? 

Your motivation is the foundation for every small, daily choice you make. Let’s hear it again for the folks in the back: your motivation is everything! Getting to the bottom of your “why” might be a process. But trust us, it’ll be worthwhile. 

For example, do you want to lose weight so you can outshine everyone at the beach ? Or do you want to lose weight so that you can do your favorite activities with more confidence? Are you going vegan because you truly believe it’ll be better for your body and the planet, or just because your partner is doing it? 

Be honest with yourself. And if your current motivation doesn’t seem like it’ll keep you going for the whole year, take some time. Dig deeper and find something that will. 

Start small

So you’ve emptied the pantry. Your new vegan cookbooks are in the mail. And you spent the morning calling friends and family to let them know you won’t, under any circumstances, be eating animal products again. How long until you cave and go back to your cheeseburger-eating ways? 

The problem with these massive overhauls, especially when it comes to giving something up, is that you create a scarcity mindset. In other words, the thing that you can’t have becomes the only thing you can think about. This tunnel vision will undoubtedly derail your success.  

The solution? Make small, trackable changes and build up to a goal. If you want to eat healthier, start with one meal a day. Or add vegetables to every meal. Once that becomes a habit, start removing processed foods, or reducing the amount of meat you eat. Better yet, stop by the Earthbar to refuel with a fresh, organic meal. These tiny changes have a rippled effect that will lead to more significant victories (and less chance of falling off the bandwagon). 

Be SMART about your New Year’s resolution

SMART goals have made waves in the business world for years. But the guidelines are just as useful in your personal life. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. By taking a SMART approach to resolution-making, you’ll be better able to track your progress and achieve your goals. When you’re setting your resolutions, get as specific as possible. Establish the “who, where, when, how, and why” of your goals. You’ll have more to draw on when your resolve falters. 

And as always, if you need help getting motivated, the team at Swell has your back. Pop into one of our group exercise classes for an energetic pick-me-up, or grab a healthy lunch from Earthbar. Whatever your resolution, we’re here to help you see it through.