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8 Secrets: How to Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolution

Published January 1, 2018    

If anyone tells you because of your back pain, you won't be able to do anything you used to — you have our permission to ghost them.

And even if you didn't keep last year's resolution, guess what? It's irrelevant because it's a new year.

So how can we make a resolution and actually keep it this year? Look no further. BackerNation took it to the virtual experts to find out eight secrets on how to actually keep your resolution. Let's uncork the champagne, throw some confetti and get to it.

8 Secrets to Keep Your New Year's Resolution

Make it something you really want.

Don't make it a resolution that you "should" want or something others tell you to do. It has to match your personal values.

"Put some thought into it," tells Richard O'Connor, author of "Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy." And steer clear of any knee-jerk New Year's resolutions, he says. "I encourage people not to make cheap resolutions, but to save it for something meaningful."

Craft a plan and be patient.

You need to know what you want to do, if you want to actually do it. Rome wasn't built in a day and it certainly wasn't built without some type of methodical system.

"Have an action plan," O'Connor explains. "Figure out exactly what you want to do."

If you need something more instant, Susan Wilson, co-author of "Goal Setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals says, "Ask yourself: What are the short-term goodies?"

For instance, if you want to exercise more but you honestly cannot find the motivation to do it alone, find a group of friends and start a walking club, perhaps? It can be a weekly event where you meet up to walk and talk for an hour. You get to feel good together while still maintaining both your long-term and short-term goals —just make sure to follow through.

Be specific.

"To be effective, resolutions and goals need to be pretty specific," reports O'Connor.

For example, let's say you want to work out more. Literally say, “I will go to the gym before work on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 am.”

Don't do it alone.

Support of any kind is critical. Yes, it's on you to get the job done but we all need a little help. Plus, it will increase the odds of your success.

One of the most productive tools you can do is to find an “accountability partner” —someone who checks in with you regularly. It’s comfortable to break a promise to yourself, but far harder to communicate it to a friend.

Portion control.

This is an essential ingredient for success. It's all about balance. Instead of naming one enormous, slightly untenable resolution, create a sequence of smaller ones and work towards achieving them. You can separate your goals into manageable parts. Don't just make one colossal resolution — instead, break it down and prepare.

The more preparation you do initially, the likelier you are to get there in the long-run.


"Automating financial goals can maximize your odds for success without you having to do anything," says Keith Ernst, director of research for the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, N.C.

"If your goal is to save $3,000 this year, calculate the amount out of each check, then arrange to have it automatically deposited into your savings account each time you get paid," Ernst says.

Keep trying.

Growth is rarely a linear progression. Some may see things happen right away as others won't reap the fruits of their labor for a little while. Producing enduring change takes time. Don't give up or beat yourself up. Keep trying.

Put yourself in charge.

A new year's resolution is yours. You are in full control. Yes, others can support and help you, if necessary but it's on you to put it to action and that's the beauty of it.

It's vital to have a strong sense of control over your life, to an extent — you don't want to drive yourself crazy but some form of control is necessary to stick with your plans.

You don't want to be that person who blames everyone for everything that goes wrong.

Yes, it can be frightening to take accountability for your destiny, however, it’s better than letting someone else drive your car of life. And, have fun.

Party of people discussing their new year's resolutions.

You've read BackerNation's seven secrets to get the job done. We have faith in your abilities. Now you need to have faith in yourself. It's a new year and that means you can be a new you.

Who do you want to be?

Last change: January 29, 2019