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How to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Didn’t manage to keep your promise to yourself last year? Here’s how to follow through in 2020.

How many of your new year’s resolutions have you followed for an entire year? You have good intentions on January 1, but by the end of April you’ve lost sight of what you were looking for. Whether 2020 means joining a gym, finishing an old project or picking up a new skill, Scout’s got tips to help keep you on track for the full 12 months.

Stay realistic

Don’t take this the wrong way – it’s important to push yourself, but don’t set a goal you can’t realistically achieve. Having incremental targets and ticking these off will help build towards a larger objective and keep you motivated along the way. It’s easy to set the bar too high and lose track of what you want to achieve. If you celebrate little wins, it’ll keep your goals in sight and ensure your targets are realistic.

Write it down

Put your goal on a poster in your room, a piece of paper in your wallet or save it as your phone wallpaper – anything you can do to regularly remind yourself what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re more of a visual learner, consider putting together a mood board with photos and images to remind yourself of your goals and why they’re important. Refresh these images every month or so if you’re stagnating – it’ll help keep you focused on your resolution.

Keep a journal

A great way to stay on track is to keep a daily, weekly or even monthly journal, depending on the nature of your resolution. Writing about your progress will help you collect your thoughts, reflect on what you’ve achieved and set smaller goals to aim for along the way. You’ll also find you hold yourself more accountable and get a chance to empty your thoughts onto paper, which is a good way to unpack topics you’re uncomfortable discussing.

Involve other people

It’s easier to work towards something when you have others holding you accountable, so try getting friends or family on board with your resolution. Maybe that means joining a gym together, working on the same project or setting similar goals. Working with other people will usually make the process more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re able to bounce more ideas around, as well as have others to sympathise with if you’re getting bogged down.

Schedule a check-in

As with getting other people involved, letting friends and family know about your resolution will help you keep an eye on your progress. A close friend or family member might be willing to help out with a check-in to see how you’re tracking – you can offer to check in on their resolutions in return. This is a great way to keep your work rate up and have someone measure your progress and provide some external feedback.

Photography: Jake Roden

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