Janet StakeHi! My name is Janet Stake. I am the NSHE GEAR UP Director or Programming and Outreach.

Are you like a lot of people that make resolutions for the new year and then about a week later, you have already abandoned them? Some people might think they are silly. Some people might not be too concerned if they don’t keep them. Other folks though, can be disappointed that they did not follow through and in the end, did not accomplish what they had hoped they would. Obviously, the new year brings with it a lot of hope for the coming year. We often reflect at the end of the year and decide it is time to make changes or improvements in our life. But what is the best way to keep these new year’s resolutions? Here are a few tips to stay on track:

  1. Like any goal, it should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). But, if that is too complicated, making sure your resolution is just realistic or attainable is a good place to start. You can always add the other elements later. The most important thing is to take the first step in this journey.
  2. Think of your strategy. What processes or avenues will you use to get to your end goal? How will you stay on track? This might take a little advanced planning. The sooner you start, the more prepared you will be when January arrives. It might help to break your plan down into smaller steps. This way it is more manageable and not overwhelming.
  3. Stay motivated. This is not always easy to do, especially if you do break the resolution but all is not lost if you do. Think of why you wanted to do it in the first place. Perhaps keep a photo or vision board with pictures of your goals so you can actually see what you working so hard to achieve. This can help you to focus and can be a great reminder if you lose that focus periodically. When you are doing well, give yourself a little reward. These rewards can give you something to look forward to and just might give you that little extra push to keep going.
  4. Build a support network. Everyone needs help from time to time. If your friends and family know about your plan, they can help motivate you when you just cannot muster it up yourself. Maybe you can even have a friend with a similar goal and you can build a buddy system to help each other. Sometimes, just having someone that will listen to help carry you through a rough spot can be a great advantage.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Don’t get frustrated or angry if something goes awry. Try not to discourage yourself. Don’t give up if there is a bump in the road. Life is bumpy. Keep going. Try again. Stay positive. You can do it!