Gabrielle Sorto
new year's resolutions

It's the same story each year. The clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve and we swear that we'll emerge the next day a new person. We say we will finally lose that 20 pounds, start that new hobby and cook at home more.

For the first few weeks and maybe even months of the year, we make good on that promise to ourselves. We go to the gym 3 days a week and maybe even lose a few pounds. But, slowly we slip back into our old habits only to find ourselves in the same spot the at the end of the year.

Forty percent of Americans make resolutions, according to The Washington Post, but one study found that only 9 percent of people felt they accomplished their goals. What if you actually kept your New Year's resolutions for once? It's certainly easier said than done. We found a few tips that will help you follow through on your resolutions and make lasting change in your life.

Make realistic resolutions

A huge mistake people make is setting too lofty of goals. If you never go to the gym at all, it's unrealistic to expect to suddenly start going daily. Instead, ease into it by aiming to go twice a week. Then, increase your goal after a few weeks. The same goes for saving money or any other goal. Make the goal attainable so you can set yourself up for success.

Keep your resolutions simple

Just as they should be realistic, your resolutions should be simple. Make them small steps to something greater rather than one huge goal. If you want to travel abroad, think of the steps you'll need to get there and make each step a goal to meet.

Don't set too many

Another reason people often abandon their resolutions is that they make too many. The truth is, you aren't going to change every aspect of your life overnight or even in one year. Change is gradual, so it takes time.

Choose a few of the most important things you want to resolve in the new year and put your energy into achieving them. Taking it one step at a time will help you to get everything you want eventually.

Tell people about your goals

Telling people in your life about the things you're trying to accomplish will help you to remain accountable. If you keep them all to yourself, it makes it easier to let your resolutions slip away. If people know about them, they can serve as a reminder of what you're setting out to do. They can provide support and help you to keep your resolutions all year long.

Start off strong

For each resolution you set, commit to it 100 percent and start off strong. An experiment by researchers at the University of Chicago about exercise showed that committing to something intensely for about a month can help create a lasting behavior.

Give yourself an incentive

Keep yourself going by giving yourself rewards once you meet certain milestones. If you're saving money, maybe let yourself indulge by treating yourself to a special meal or an item you've been wanting to splurge on once you save a certain amount. If you're losing weight, give yourself a cheat day after reaching a goal weight on your journey. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something you're excited about so you can enjoy it once you reach the goal.

Keep track of your progress

Keep a record of the things you do weekly to get you closer to your goal. By keeping track of all your effort, you will be more motivated to keep going as you can tangibly see the progress being made.

These tips will aid in finally making your resolutions stick. Happy New Year!

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About The Author

Gabrielle Sorto

Gabrielle Sorto is an Atlanta-based freelance writer, whose work has appeared on CNN, Insider and Alloy. She loves traveling and the challenge of keeping her many houseplants alive. She can usually be found writing with an overpriced coffee in hand or with her dog, Rihanna, who is named after exactly who you think.

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