5 Tips for Making and Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

ResolutionMaking a new goal can be such an exciting moment, like a fresh start! Every year I look forward to making my New Year's resolution. But I'm sure we've all had that goal that we just didn't follow through on… raise your hand if you've been there (raising hand sheepishly). So I'm going to share my top five tips on making and keeping an awesome New Year's resolution, and I'll let you in on what my resolution is going to be this year!

1. Think long term but manageable. You want to think of a goal for the new year that won't take you 15 minutes to complete. I mean, that's a task more suited for a to-do list. You can do better than that! You want a goal that's either ongoing, or difficult enough that it may take you most of the year to accomplish it. That being said, don't set your goal so high that you can't realistically manage it.

2. Create a plan, and plan to start NOW. A good resolution is one that you can map out your success to. For example, if your goal is fitness related something like 'get fit in 2012' may not be as easy to plan for as 'run a half marathon in 2012.' The second goal is something you can make a plan to achieve. Once you have your road map to success, start immediately. Don't wait until next month, or until you have more time. Make time. Do it. Go!

3. Write down your goal and display it some where you will see it. I like to write my goals in a notebook I keep by my bed. Another great option is taped up on your bathroom mirror. You don't have to display it somewhere that others will see it, only you. But you want to be reminded of your goal, and why your doing it. You are more likely to succeed if you are reminded of your resolution often. 

4. Reward yourself, and remind yourself why you made it your goal. We all like being rewarded for a job well done. So be good to yourself! If you've made some serious progress, or you are right on track with your plan after 3 months-reward yourself. Buy yourself a new dress, plan a mini trip, or even something small like a movie night out with friends. It's up to you but you are more likely to stick to your goal if you know you are going to be rewarded. Rewards are fun! Just saying. 

5. Have a way to track your progress. This will keep you going, because it's another positive reinforcement for success. For example, I currently am working on a goal to bake a loaf of bread every week (I'm trying to become a master baker…. well, a really good one anyway). I take an instagram picture with my iphone of my loaf of bread every week. That way I can look back at all my weeks of success so far. Fuels the fire. Keeps you motivated and, frankly, proud of yourself as you work to achieve your resolution.

2012 goals

So here's what I'm doing this year. My New Year's resolution for 2012 is to make one craft project every week. It may be something for my home, to wear, for my dog, to give as a gift, etc. We make a lot of DIY projects around here already, but these are going to be a little more personal to my life. Plus I spend a lot of my creative efforts toward baking and recipe development, so this will be a bit of a challenge for me. It's a little out of my comfort zone, and that's exciting! I will probably share a few of my projects with you, and I will be chronicling all 52 projects over at my Food Coma blog. How about you? Do you have any New Year's resolution plans yet? xo. Emma

  • Yes! I’ve got a biggie that is occurring right away! I have enough stock to open my online store. So I’m opening up in the new year. I’ve got my vintage…fringy t-shirts, and pants made into bell bottoms with cute fabric…ready to go go go! So…I’m doing it. 2012 the year for Jupiter’s Bees to be bzzzzz’y. Get it. I’m a nerd ๐Ÿ™ hee hee! I think its a good goal. Open the store and keep it going…even if its not uber successful in its first year…it’ll be a learning experience! Happy Early New Year…can’t wait to see what comes up on your blog!!! Hearts, Janna Lynn

  • Thanks for all the tips! I would like to focus more on my blog in 2012 – I think a good goal to set would be 5 quality posts per week. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love this post, Emma. By the way, I know I’m one of the worst commenters ever on your blog, but one of my resolutions is to start baking again and I’ve been really looking to you for inspiration on this! xo

  • Very good points! I’m actually making a post too about the topic. Goals have become so important to me. I follow the “SMART” acronym method.

    Kindness is the best accessory,
    Rebecca

  • You’re such an inspiration! My goal? Lose twenty pounds. That won’t be so hard, seeing as I’ve done it before- but I keep putting it back on. So in 2012, I’m making a conscious decision to KEEP OFF those twenty pounds!

    I’ll weigh myself on Sundays, write it on the calendar, and (like you said) reward myself! How, I don’t quite know yet… maybe more activities with friends?

    Thanks for the advice!

  • Perfect! You had me inspired, but then all of the possibilities started swirling around in my head and I got lost. After some thought, I think I have come back around to a good umbrella resolution.

    I have a tendency to make incredibly overcomplicated lists and plans and then spend more time planning than doing, and eventually I get so behind that I scrap the whole thing.

    My resolution is to make a schedule and stick to it for one year. It can evolve a little over time as things come up, but I’m going to do my best to keep it simple and schedule both the things I want to do and the things I have to do. No more excuses, this is happening. And then perhaps I will blog about it.

    Thanks Elsie!

  • These are great tips, I know there are resolutions i should make! I have never made a new year’s resolution, and this year I will! Good luck with yours!

  • I’ve just done this! Great minds and all that! I was determined NOT to be unrealistic this year ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I plan to learn to speak french, and to get lots of experience in the field I want to work in and hopefully have a job because of it by 2013.. I’m keeping track of progress by setting little goals for every month and writing them in my filofax so I remember what I’m meant to be working on each month x

  • Yes! I will be making separate business and personal goals, each of which will all go towards bettering my life and those around me. Thanks for all the tips…I will use them to help fine tune my goals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nice post and great tips! My two goals are kind of big goals, but that’s how I roll ๐Ÿ™‚ Goal # 1: Run a half marathon on May 20, 2012. I completed my first 10K this summer, and I am still training, so I think that it is achievable. Goal #2: Get an MBA in about 9 months.

  • This is a really great post. I often create goals but get so overwhelmed I give up.

    I can’t focus too much on the future so I think I need to make goals more attainable.

  • Excellent post! I’m a pedantic list and goal maker. I do each of these things, but don’t DISPLAY my progress. I love the idea of taking progress-polaroids and all adopt it immediately. Thanks for the tips, Emma!

  • Oh my goodness, Emma! You have inspired me totally. I usually make goals every year but frankly I just end up brushing them off! One goal that I’ve made and stuck to (well sort of) was to start losing weight in 2009. Since then, I’ve lost 80lbs!!! I know it’s so cliche to lose weight just because it is a new year, but I started on christmas day of 2009! I still have a bit of a way to go, (48 more to be where I’d “love” to be!) so this year I’m making it my effort to eat healthier meals! I’m sure I’ll make a lot more- I can’t wait to post them to the blog now!

  • oh that’s so cute! i decided that would be my new year’s resolution tooo!! and i thought about it last month heehee ๐Ÿ˜€

    cheers to that and to creativity!!

  • Emma, I love your posts! (And Elsie’s, don’t get me wrong haha)

    My New Year’s resolution is to learn to sew. I’ve bought Mrs. Larson’s ecourse on sewing, I have a Hello Kitty machine, and I’m an expert at making hair bows. My goal is to be able to sew a dress by the end of the year, and for smaller steps- maybe sew an item every month? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that!

    Oh, and I guess my other goal is getting my Master’s, ha!

  • I am making a list of personal, professional and travel resolutions and goals for 2012 and am very determined to complete them, or at least as many as possible. Wise words and advice re: rewards and making realistic goals… Oh and I can always tell when Emma is writing blog posts instead of Elsie – your writing style makes me smile!

    Bird x

    http://fly-away-birdie.blogspot.com
    A blog about travel, loves and more

  • Hey, I just start to read your blog and I am already in love!

    I realy realy realy love this post , it help me a lot.

    One of my goals for 2012 is create a blog, but to tell the true, I am a little lost with this idea, I don’t know how to start this :`(

    Could you give me some tips ?

  • Great tips! I think the most important thing about new year’s goals is to write them down. I used to make goals and keep them only on my head but that never really worked. Last year I decided to write them down and it certainly helped me to remember what I want to accomplish!

  • Your blog is so inspiring!

    Just last night is was thinking of my newyears resolutions and reading this topic describes exactly what i had in mind: making it measurable, fun and using rewards.

    My first goal is to loose 1 kilo each month, 12 in total ๐Ÿ˜‰ so i’m going to make a nice chart where i can keep my progress.

    Second goal is to be more positive and give more compliments, maybe i should write them in a little book to not forget them…

    Your website makes me happy and anxious to start with crafts again, something i didn’t do for too long!

    love, L*

  • It’s easy to list down tons of New Year’s resolutions, but it’s difficult to do and keep ’em. You need to keep in mind that these resolutions will make you a better person. So if you make one, be sure to do it. =)

  • Great suggestions! I definitely check in with my resolutions throughout the year and begin checking them off as I’ve successfully completed. But I also generally include goals that will take approx. a year to complete, so I checking off milestones throughout the year. Thanks for sharing this and Happy New Year!

  • I love making new goals for the year ahead. Never thought about number 4 before but I do keep a list of my year’s goals where I look everyday.
    If you have more than one goal it’s good to make them different sized ones, I find. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • To keep to your New Year’s resolutions, you must FOCUS. It would be a tad difficult to accomplish a task if you don’t focus on keeping to it. Also, don’t let anyone or anything keep you from achieving your goals.

  • It’s so easy to plan 2012 resolutions, sticking to them is a whole different story for me! Thanks for the tips to help me stick with them. I will surely being using them:)

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