Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

10 top new year resolutions - colorful sticky notes on blakboard with white chalk texture

The New Year is a great time for reflections and new beginnings. Here are 7 tips to help you make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

  1. Make one change at a time. A long list of goals can quickly become overwhelming. Consider working on one goal that you really want each month or quarter so you can gradually include the changes in your life.
  2. Write S.M.A.R.T goals. Research proves that written goals trump unwritten goals every time. Be sure that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have a time frame for beginning and ending.
  3. Break your goals into measurable baby steps. What will you need to do each month, each week, each day to achieve your overall goal? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you plan to achieve the goal by December 31 you can start on December 29.
  4. Have an accountability partner. Find someone like a good friend or coach who won’t let you easily forget your goal or the work you will need to do to achieve it.
  5. Set up negative consequences for not achieving your goal. Consider writing a postdated donation to an organization that you would never want to support. Have someone you trust promise to mail the check to the organization if you don’t achieve the goal.
  6. Reflect on your progress each week. By reading your goals, and reflecting on how well you are (or are not) doing, you will stay focused and have a chance to develop strategies to overcome the obstacles that may have thrown you off course.
  7. Don’t give up. If you get off track, jump back on as soon as possible. The best part of working on smaller goals and reflecting each week is that you will not get so far off track. Remember it is not over until you quit.

Debra Austin is a business coach, consultant, speaker and facilitator.  She is also the founder of Chaos2Results Business Coaching, a company committed to helping business owners who are serious about building successful businesses. You can contact her at:

The content of this article may be forwarded in full without special permission provided it is used for nonprofit purposes and full attribution and copyright notice are given. For all other purposes, contact Debra Austin at


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