8 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

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Brace yourself, Womanistas! New Year's is fast approaching and with it comes that annual rhythm of resolutions we hope to maintain to ensure our next 12 months are better, healthier and less stressful. Oh, the possibilities!

Yet the truth is, life gets in the way and staying on track is super frustrating. We make a list, we check it twice and boom — it never works out. But you're certainly not alone in that irritation.

Researchers at the University of Scranton found only 8 percent of people successfully achieve resolutions every year, which means 92 percent fail. While it might seem disheartening, we never stop at failure — break out the bicep emojis, please.

In fact, we're the type to keep going no matter what and to help you stay on track, we're sharing essential tips that promise to get you working towards goals every day of the year.

Make it realistic
Before you plan, evaluate what you truly want and not what others suggest. Choose goals that are realistic to you and fit into your routines. Don't opt for last-minute knee-jerk kind of resolutions that you didn't think about for 364 days a year, but everyone else is doing it. Instead, aim for meaningful goals that contribute to your life and things you actually want changed.

Set short-term goals that become long-term
We love thinking big, but when it comes to resolutions, consider the actions first through short-term goals. If we focus on building a system behind the goals, we are better able to establish objectives and stick to them. If you're looking to save $5,000 by year's end, the system that needs your attention is saving every week or month. On the contrary, if goals are big and we approach them all at once — like losing 10 pounds in one month — it can be overwhelming and lead us into a mode of inaction, reminiscent of a deer caught in the headlights. Don't be the deer.

Limit resolutions to a number you can handle
If you start seeing progress early on, keep those strides going but don't add on or tweak them with more. Keep resolutions to a minimum, like two or three, and stay focused throughout the year. Not only can additional goals or bigger tweaks hinder you from reaching goals, but it can also get in the way of others and keep you back.

Be specific when making resolutions
Be precise when it comes to your resolutions. If you want a beach body and hope to lose pounds for a healthier you, set aside hours in the day that you can actually go and stick to them. Sometimes joining classes can help you to stay accountable. Additionally, apps can help you stay responsible and be sure to tell friends — employing a buddy system can be beneficial too.

Write down goals and visualize it
By integrating creative visualization into resolutions and positive talk, we effectively provide strength and motivation to our drive. As a natural process that allows us to be the architect of our own lives, writing down goals and visualizing them helps us manifest energy and focus into our waking life, and build a resilience powered by drive.

Revel in your victories
As you make progress, treat yourself. If weight loss is your goal, create a tiered system of prizes with a new wardrobe piece as the "grand prize." Yet however you choose to reward yourself, make sure it doesn't hinder goals or offset your objective. Celebrate with positive rewards that encourage you to go further, while helping you to feel happier and healthier.

Consider the journey, not the outcome
While working towards goals, enjoy the journey. If you're taking foreign language classes, be social and get to know your peers. Additionally, if you're hitting the gym and looking to lose pounds, stick to that healthy diet and your favorite equipment. Whatever happens, have fun. You learn a lot about yourself through set resolutions and being mindful of your identity will make it easier to accomplish.


Don't give up
Some days we just hit a wall, but whatever happens — don't give up. If something is not working, it's okay to modify the resolution or bring it down a notch. Keep trying to become a better version of yourself every step of the way. If you're unable to save $100 a week, knock it down to $50 or even $25. Be sure to forgive yourself along the way and be grateful for what you have accomplished because every effort counts and is surely something to be proud of by year's end.


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