Advice for the life of your New Year’s resolution

Kate L. Keeler

More stories from Kate L. Keeler


Karla Hernandez

Columnist Kate L. Keeler shares 20 tips on how to make sure your New Year’s resolution survives past January – and doesn’t weigh you down rather than lift you higher. “You have just a little less than 365 days to meet some awesome goals,” Keeler said. “So, get going!”

It has been 15 days since kazoos and kisses kicked off the new decade. Fifteen days since New Year’s resolutions were born. Fifteen days since they have begun to die — all victims of the world-wide “procrastination plague.”

Here are 20 tips to make sure your 2020 resolution survives the pandemic.

1) Who do you want to be?

First off, make sure your goal for this year fits in with who you want to be overall. For example, if you want to become a selfless person, your resolution should serve others more than yourself.

2) Be realistic.

Think dating. Unrealistic goals can appear attractive, just like a person who is not right for you can charm you. Set simple goals that won’t be hard to accomplish.

3) Be specific.

Avoid coming up with vague ideas that point you in multiple directions. Don’t create distractions for yourself.

4) Have only one resolution.

It is much more effective to focus on one thing at a time. Try to do one thing spectacularly, instead of many things mediocrely.

5) Make a plan.

Organize how you will achieve your goal. Remember not to be messy with your planning, though, because then you’ll be less likely to get it done when you want to.

6) Do not procrastinate.

Avoid exposing your resolutions to the plague altogether. Stay on top of things from day one. (Or two, or three, or four, or 15, depending on how you feel.)

7) Take it one step at a time.

You will get tired if you start a marathon sprinting — you will get tired if you take your resolution too fast. So slow down. The year holds 365 days for a reason.

8) Get a support system.

Talk about your resolution with others who will encourage you. If you surround yourself with friends who have the same goals as you, then you can work together.

9) Make changes.

If you want to be on your phone less, try putting it on silent. Modify to accomplish.

10) Expect failure.

Do not be disappointed when you fail at keeping your resolution. You are a human being.

11) Record your failures.

Avoid repeating your mistakes, but be sure to learn something from them. Keep a record of things you want to avoid on your phone, or even better write them down. You’ll be more inclined to stay away from that repetition.

12) Take ownership.

Do not blame others for your shortcomings. If you set the resolution yourself, it’s up to you.

13) Persevere.

When you fail, keep going. It will pay off eventually. And when it does, you’ll be glad you kept going.

14) Think positively.

Do not wallow in your failures. Instead, bask in your successes.

15) Record your successes.

Remember what you did right, and do it again. Just as you keep track of your failures, keep track of your successes, on your phone or in a journal.

16) Take care of yourself.

Do not become so preoccupied with your resolution that you fail to manage your wellbeing. You come first.

17) Keep yourself motivated.

Talk to people who have succeeded at your resolution, and remind yourself of your goals. If the motivation fades, so will your goal.

18) Reward yourself.

In accordance with temperance, do things that you enjoy to keep yourself motivated and happy. Even for every little step you take, do a victory dance.

19) Be patient.

Change is a process. A caterpillar must endure metamorphosis before it becomes a butterfly. Take the process in every day.

20) Do not strive for perfection.

Take pride in finishing the race, even if it means you tripped and took breaks along the way.

Overall, make sure your resolution does not succumb to the Procrastination Plague, and stay positive. You have just a little less than 365 days to meet some awesome goals, so get going!