As soon as ornaments are put away and the piles of wrapping paper are plucked from the ground and tossed out, our thoughts switch from wondering how many pounds of Christmas fudge we can inhale in under two minutes to freaking out that the new year is almost here.

The new year often pressures us to hit the ground running with a long list of resolutions and goals. However, our stamina doesn’t usually last long and we find ourselves crumpling up our lists and thinking, maybe next year. 

This year, we’ve decided to change that. We want to start this year with a bang, and we’re not letting the fire burn out.

Here are our ideas on how to make and keep your new year’s resolutions.

Don’t go overboard

Oftentimes when a new year rolls in, we start making lists of all the ways we want to change and improve. That’s great, but having too much on your plate can mean ending up with nothing done at all. When you’re making your goals, pick a handful that you really want to focus on. Our suggestion? Focus on no more than five resolutions.

Get specific

Vague goals like “be healthier” or “develop friendships” will be a lot harder to make happen than a specific goal. Narrow your goals down and get specific. You want to be healthy? Try a goal like: “have a vegetable at every meal,” or “join a yoga studio and go three times a week.” You want to develop friendships? Try, “compliment a new person each day,” or “reach out and plan to meet up with a friend every other week.”

Write goals down

Will you remember to pick up your clothes from the dry cleaners or grab that tin of cookies for your nephew’s birthday party if you don’t write it down? Same goes for your resolutions! Make sure you write them down. But don’t just make a list that you’ll never look at again. Make motivating sticky notes on places you’ll see them, like your fridge or bathroom mirror. Even little reminders in your phone could help. Writing your goals down and constantly reminding yourself of them will go a long way!

Tell people about them (or better yet do them with friends and family) 

Talk about your goals! The more you talk about your goals, not only will they naturally become a part of your life and schedule, but the people around you will keep you in check. It’s even better if you’re completing your goals with other people, as you’ll be able to motivate each other.

Plan follow-throughs and check ups

First and foremost, don’t make your goals just another box to check off on your to-do list. You have to make them a part of your day. If you wait until the morning of to decide whether or not you want to do it, chances are the novelty of a new goal will wear off sooner than you planned. So, for example, if your resolution is to drink five water bottles a day, make it a habit to drink a bottle before or after every meal.

Celebrate small successes

Reaching your big goals is made out of the small steps you take along the way. Celebrate those small successes! Give yourself motivation to keep moving forward by celebrating all the ways that you are improving.

Don’t choose a goal that’s negative (stop__) or (don’t __)

Positivity is key. By making a goal to be something or do something, you’re way more likely to succeed than if you make negative goals that tell you to stop doing something. If there are habits you want to break this coming year, rephrase the goal to make it positive. You want to have less wine before bed? Replace it. Instead of “don’t drink more than one glass of wine before bed,” try, “drink a glass of peppermint tea before bed.”

Don’t rely on others to get you where you want to go

The support of others can be a great motivator, but if it’s your only motivator, then the chances of you getting out of bed in the morning to hit that early spin class or opt for green juice instead of your favorite caramel mocha aren’t going to be very likely. Don’t rely on others as your pure source of motivation. Find the motivation within yourself. Be your own cheerleader.

Set the intention to succeed

If you make a goal with the thought that your goal will never actually happen, you’re already setting yourself up to fail. Set the intention to succeed, and you’ll be able to make it so.

Work on one at a time

Take it slow and tackle each goal one at a time. It’s a lot harder to make a habit out of anything if you have multiple goals you’re juggling at once.

Hopefully these tips will give you a better idea on how to make your goals and achieve them! Let us know which goals you decided to work on this year. We want to know how you’re planning on tackling 2020!