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5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2024

With 2023 finally over, and many making plans for a better year, these are some easy ways to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions.

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Fireworks above a city on New Year's.
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This article was updated on 12/20/2023.

The year 2023 is finally over, and we have a new year to look forward to! 

If you’re anything like the majority of the world’s population, you’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past—and broken them within a month.

But you keep making them, because you enjoy the optimism: beginning a new year on the right foot, promising to be a better, more fit and a more skilled version of yourself. 

Here are ways you can stick to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2024

  1. Tell people about your resolution

Usually, we’re told that peer pressure is a bad thing. But in the case of a New Years’ Resolution, it might be just what you need.

Positive reinforcement (encouragement and support) from your friends and family can push you to learn the guitar, lose the beer belly, or whatever it is you want to do in this new year.

Disappointment (or the fear of it) can also push you to work harder toward your goal.

If the cost of failing on your resolution is a whole bunch of awkward and sad conversations, maybe that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow.

  1. Break it down into manageable chunks

This is something essentially everybody tells you about anything, but it’s true.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—and continues, step by step.

A New Years’ Resolution isn’t accomplished all at once, but rather gradually.

Don’t push yourself too hard, and don’t get down on yourself if your goal is still a long way off.

Set realistic markers along the way, and at each one check in with yourself.

That way, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment as you go, and you’ll see your progress stack up.

  1. Care for yourself

Treat your New Year’s Resolution as what it is: a gift.

When you accomplish it, not only will you get the benefit of whatever your goal is, but you’ll feel more confidence and pride in yourself.

This feeling of accomplishment is full of benefits: it makes you better poised to chase down the next opportunity, better prepared to be a positive influence in the lives of others, and can even make you live longer.

In making a New Years’ Resolution, and caring about yourself, you’re giving the best present you can give yourself, so don’t think of it as correcting something that’s wrong about you, but giving yourself another thing that’s right about you.

  1. Forgive yourself, don’t define yourself 

When a friend who’s made a mistake comes to you for help, do you immediately tell them that they’re worthless, that everybody knows it, and that they should just give up already?

No, but this treatment is something of the norm when it comes to yourself.

Unfortunately, many of us treat ourselves this way; we are quick to criticize and slow to forgive.

Strangely enough, this negative self-talk often gives us permission to betray our resolutions. 

If you resolve, in 2024, to cut down on carbs and one night you give in to the urge to order a bunch of pasta on Postmates, don’t beat yourself up for it the next morning.

Accept the mistake and continue working toward your goal the next day.

Don’t decide you’re undisciplined, gluttonous, and have failed.

Everyone messes up a few times and forgiveness is the best way to move forward. 

Penne pasta in a pot.
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  1. Use your resolution as a chance to explore new horizons 

We all have ideas about who we’d like to be, and we all face the realities of who we are.

While a person who wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. and works out in order to get a clean, fresh start to the day is certainly admirable, that person might not be you.

In making resolutions, pick goals that flow organically from who you are.

If you don’t know who you are (because who really does?) then go into a resolution with flexibility. 

If, for example, your resolution is to get fit, don’t force yourself into a box with it.

Instead, try different exercises, intensities, and intervals.

Don’t stick yourself in the gym for a 45-minute routine with weights when what you’d really enjoy doing is going to a yoga class or going for a run.

Realize that everybody is different, and rather than changing yourself into somebody new, your resolution can be a way of discovering who you might already be.

Think of it as an exploration. Let things develop and commit to remaining open and focused.

A list of Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions on a lined notebook.
Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions — a good role model
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The year, 2024 will likely be another challenging year. You already know why, so there’s no reason to repeat it here.

But remember that you got through 2023, and if your resolution for 2024 is to just survive it safe, healthy, and maybe a little wiser—that’s totally fine.

It’ll take some doing, but you’re definitely further along than you think you are. 

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