Now that we’re well into the new year, chances are you or someone you know has made their new year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, the stereotype for most plans made for a new year is flimsy at best, with most plans getting tossed aside by the end of January. So, how do we keep our new year’s resolutions? Here are five tips to help keep your goals set and doable:

Make Plans

This step is one of the most common, but also most misinterpreted as well. Yes, we’re making plans by making a new year’s resolution, but what are the details? Identifying your goal is the first step. From there, plan out how you’ll reach that goal. For example, if your goal is to eat more vegetables, how will you do that? Will you make vegan meals at least three times a week? What days will those be? Consider writing those days down in your phone’s calendar or a planner. Find out what meals you want to make each week and write down what ingredients you need.

Take Baby Steps

To help make your planning easier, take little steps. Yes, planning is important, but by breaking down each piece of your plan into smaller, more manageable stages, then everything you do is a victory, and proof of progress toward your main goal.

Ask for Help

It may be your new year’s resolution, but you don’t have to do it alone. Asking others you trust for help and guidance while you work through your journey is crucial, especially if your goal is to overcome a personal obstacle. Sometimes, seeking professional help from a therapist or life coach may add to your benefit, as they can guide you through the planning process. Regardless of what you choose to do, support from others is something everyone needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Consider Your Mental Health

Sometimes, life gets in the way of our goals, as is the case with many failed new year’s resolutions. This isn’t a bad thing, especially considering the current socio-political climate we’re living in. No matter what, your survival is most important, and if that means you can’t exercise every day, that’s okay.

Lower Your Expectations

This last tip sounds a bit rude but setting lofty goals you aren’t entirely sure you’ll be able to reach makes fulfilling a new year’s resolution far more stressful than it should be. If you’re new to a concept—let’s say cardiovascular exercise—chances are you won’t be able to run a marathon one week into January. However, you’ll be able to get there. Having lowered expectations of what you can do at the moment means you’ll be able to focus on the smaller steps that come before your marathon. Plus, it’s far less stressful to try and live up to unrealistic expectations than ones you can manage. Change is a process, and progress takes time.
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