Family, Kids & Relationships

3 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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The New Year signifies a fresh start — an opportunity to review the successes and challenges of the past year and set intentions for the year ahead. The actual fulfillment of these intentions, however, is notoriously low. In fact, 80 percent of folks who make New Year’s resolutions will fail by mid-February.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are lots of tried-and-true measures you can take that will help you keep your resolutions in the coming year. It starts with choosing the right resolutions, and then planning for the inevitable temptations to give up on them.

These 3 tips can help you keep your resolutions next year, and every year after that!

Pick a resolution you can actually keep!  

It seems obvious, but some of the most commonly made New Year’s resolutions are just begging to fail. “I want to spend more quality time with my kids.” “I want my family to eat healthier food.” Sound familiar? These are way too vague to be effective goals. 

Instead, pick a specific and attainable goal that you can reasonably complete within a year. “I want to have family dinner once a week” or “I want to stop keeping candy at home” are better alternatives. 

Visualize your success.  

Imagine what your life will look like once you’ve kept your resolution. Do you want to save more money in the New Year? Imagine what it will be like to have a financial cushion for your family! Are you planning to travel more? Visualize yourself and your family in a far-off location you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

Aim for success, but plan for failure.  

Resolutions are often hard to keep because the delayed gratification we receive from working toward long-term goals can often be overshadowed by the immediate reward of giving into a temptation like a sweet treat, or handing a screaming kid the tablet. If you slip up a few times…or even a bunch of times, keep at it. Any progress is better than no progress, so be kind to yourself!

Mckenna Saady is a staff writer and digital content lead for ParentsTogether. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now lives in Philadelphia and writes poetry, fiction, and children’s literature in her spare time.