Did you know that 98% of people fail to keep their New Years resolutions? Don’t be a statistic! In this article you will find some handy tips on how to keep your resolutions in 2018 so you can make this year your best one yet whether it’s with fitness, your career or your relationships.

The key to a long-living resolution is to make a resolution that you think you can keep and is attainable. For example, don’t make a resolution to no longer eat chocolate if that is your favourite food. Instead, your resolution may be to limit your chocolate intake to once a week. If you never go to the gym, don’t start out by saying you are going to go 6 days a week. A more attainable goal may be to say you’re going to the gym 3 days a week.

Next, BE SPECIFIC in your goals. For example, if your overall resolution is to become more fit, outline what that would look like. You can make your goal more specific by specifying some subgoals such as “be able to do 15 pull ups”, “train to run 5km”, etc. From here, outline your plan by the week or month to give you markers of success to keep you on track. If your goal is to run 5km by April, perhaps set a subgoal of running 2.5km by February to make sure you are on track to reach your goal in time.

The previous tip was about creating an outline on how you plan on achieving your specific goal. This outline ideally has subgoals that lets you know you are on track. When you reach that marker, reward yourself with something that doesn’t contradict your resolution such as going to a movie with a friend or going for a pedicure. Or, if your goal is to go to the gym 3x per week, you may choose to treat yourself to a dip in the hot tub after each session or after reaching your weekly goal.

My 4th tip to help you keep your resolution this year is to TRACK your progress! Keep track of each small success to keep you motivated to reach your bigger goals. Each time you accomplish one of your short-term goals, you will get a rush of the “feel-good hormone” dopamine which will replenish your drive to keep going. The key to doing this is to make sure your goals are measurable (see tip #2).

Next, talk about your goals with family and friends! Consider joining a support group or find a buddy who shares your resolution and motivate each other to stick to it. The more people you have on your team, the easier time you will have sticking to your resolutions. In some cases, seeking out a clinical counsellor may be a great addition to your team.

It has often taken us years to get to where we are at with our health, relationships, careers, etc. and changes aren’t going to occur overnight which is why my 6th tip for keeping your resolutions is to only change one behaviour at a time. Focusing on too many changes at once will set yourself up for failure. Focus on one goal and put everything you have into making that behaviour change a new habit. Once that change has taken place only then should you create a new goal to focus on.

My last tip in is to not beat yourself up over a slip-up. Perfection is unattainable and missteps are normal and okay. Acknowledge your slip-up and then pick up where you left off.

About Dr. Nicole Hartman

Dr. Nicole Hartman is a naturopathic physician, a world traveler, a hiker, and a blogger. She focuses her practice in fertility and women's health and takes an integrative, evidence-based approach to healthcare.