1. Keep it SMART. Remember that the best goals are SMART — or, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By setting a goal that follows these criteria, it will be easier to work towards and achieve that goal. For example, the New Year’s Resolution ‘I want to lose weight in 2021’ could become ‘I want to lose twenty pounds over the next four months by following a plant-based diet so that I can lower my cholesterol.” According to VeryWellMind, the SMART Goals approach developed by Peter Drucker, the more clearly defined your pathway is, the easier it is to follow.

2. Be accountable to someone. You don’t have to have the same resolution as someone to hold each other accountable. Get a friend or group of friends equally motivated to succeed as you and plan regular check-ins with each other. You will be more motivated to follow through with your plans if someone else is checking in on you on a set date. The best part? When you and your friends achieve your resolutions, you can cheer each other on!

3. Focus on the journey, not the destination. If there’s a goal you want to achieve, focus on the day-to-day. For example, if your goal is to read more, don’t just focus on how many books you want to read and which ones. Focus on carving out time in your schedule to read. How long? How many pages? By answering these questions, you will have a more clear path to your resolution.

4. Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset. Say your New Year’s Resolution is to exercise for an hour every day. All of a sudden you realize it’s eight pm on January second and you’ve forgotten about your resolution. It’s easy to give up and not return, but it’s just as easy to do a quick version of your routine or to start fresh the next day. It’s important to be flexible with yourself in creating your new routine. “It’s critical to learn how to have a backup plan rather than just throwyour hands up and give up,” said Dr. Katherine Milkman, who conducted a 2015 study that found that when people were allowed to choose what time they visited the gym rather than being given a two-hour window, they went more frequently.

5. Your resolution should come from a place of self-love and self-improvement, not self-hatred. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, focus on finding foods that nourish and satisfy you rather than just restricting or eliminating your favorites. Put it this way: you’re more likely to keep a promise to someone you love than you are to someone you don’t care about.

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