13 Tricks for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions, from People Who Actually Did

Want this year to be the one where you actually keep those goals you set for yourself? Take it from these inspiring folks who managed to exceed their resolutions in past years.

As we grow older and develop long-lasting, enduring friendships and relationships, we begin to realize the importance of quality over quantity. For dual licensed mental health professional and lifestyle expert Kryss Shane, BS, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW, this lesson was a vital one to make, inspiring her 2017 resolution to become more intentional about the people in her life. In an effort to weed out those who didn’t invest in her and put her focus on those who valued her, she made small, yet impactful strides throughout every month. “I disconnected those on social media who were harmful to me and I took more time to call, e-mail, and visit those who loved and appreciated me,” she shared. As she looks ahead to the starting line of a new lap around the sun, her load is lighter and her friendships stronger. To achieve the same results, Shane recommends choosing a resolution that holds an emotional purpose and checking-in with yourself frequently. “Add in benchmarks and rewards along the way so that there are moments to recognize the progress made on the resolution and to celebrate your hard work,” she adds.

While some professionals are fortunate to have a clear picture of their anticipated career path from day one of college, others take a less direct route. When 38-year-old wife, mother, stay-at-home mom, and author Krystle Lynch considered her hopes for 2017, she decided it was now or never to begin her master’s degree. After delaying for years, she’s now half-way through her program and intends to graduate in summer 2018. Her newfound confidence helped create the fodder for another resolution: compete in a beauty pageant for the first time since she was a teenager. Twelve months later she took home two crowns and a supercharged dedication to share her platform raising awareness of miscarriage and preterm birth.

Her advice to those who want to start procrastinating? Get started and be your own greatest fan. “Sometimes we don’t accomplish our resolutions because somewhere on the path we talk ourselves out of it. We may feel that we don’t have the resources, willpower, or determination to accomplish. We must hold ourselves accountable, with no excuses. We can become our own worst enemy. We must know that we are worth it, that we deserve to win in life,” she says.

Somewhere on most people’s bucket lists—between visit Nepal and skydiving, say—you’ll find “finishing a marathon.” For PR account executive and aspiring writer Victor Miltiades, 26.2 miles was finally in sight for 2017. After years of talking about it, thinking about it, and dreaming about it, he completed this impressive fitness feat in April at the Boston Marathon. He says having a concrete task—like signing up for a race—helped him stay focused on his physical performance. That’s why he recommends taking a broad goal and turn it into an attainable one. “Don’t tell yourself ‘I want to learn an instrument;’ instead pick a couple songs you want to know and aim towards that. The same can be done for the classic goal of ‘get in shape.’ Pick a goal of lifting a certain weight, running a certain distance or becoming skilled in a sport. Hone in on the task instead of the larger goal so you don’t overwhelm yourself with the nebulous idea,” he says. Here are 14 resolutions to make 2019 your happiest year ever.

A few years ago, Chad Elliott found himself working until 10 or 11 p.m. most nights, which didn’t leave much room for him to join circles he was passionate about. In an effort to build friendships with like-minded folks, he resolved to start holding events through MeetUp.com. To make this a reality, he created three groups—one for improv, one for personal development, and one for storytelling. In addition to friends, he also realized he was a natural-born teacher. Today, he’s the founder of Seattle Improv Classes, where he not only instructs this form of acting but also teaches skills to build confidence and social ease.

If you have the desire to switch career paths or branch out into your passionate, Elliot says to give it a chance, even if it feels impossible. “At first it may seem like there’s nothing you can do, the path is too scary, too hard, or too dangerous. Start in the general direction of your dreams; and start in a way that’s as small, easy, and safe as you need it to be. That creates your momentum, and—just like a snowball rolling down a mountain can turn into a massive avalanche —your momentum will build and build. Soon, you’ll make so much progress that you’ll surprise yourself. But, to do that, you have to start now,” he says.

In the world of titles, Seth Lejeune is the proud owner of quite a few: entrepreneur, small business owner, and father. But a new one he wanted to add? Reader. Thanks to a commitment to a lifetime of learning, he wanted to get serious about his own self-education, so he vowed to read 50 books in a year, or in other words, about one book a week. To make this ambitious goal, given all of the other responsibilities in his life, he got started right away and gave much of his mental space to his resolution during the first 30 days, thanks to notes. He would write ‘TV is junk’ or ‘Leaders are readers’ in notebooks or in an e-mail, reminding himself to tune out of his electronics and into the pages of authors he admired.

The first month paved the path for the rest of the year, where he ultimately finished 61 books. His advice to anyone who is aiming for a very specific task is to focus on the reasons that define your ‘why.’

“People know what they need to do, but they spent far too much thought on ‘what’ they need to do in order to accomplish their goal, instead of the ‘why,’” he says. “The mind has an amazing way to take you where you want to go if it knows why it’s doing it. This takes some solitude and quiet time, but really think about the importance of the resolution and what you’ll feel like once it is accomplished. We are what we think about most. If we think to ourselves we are ‘not motivated’ or ‘lazy’ or we concentrate on past failures, our brain will find a way to make that our reality and we will have failed at yet another New Year’s resolution.”

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 This article was written by Lindsay Tigar, writer, blogger, runner, dater…



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