How to Make New Year Resolutions That Work (For YOU)

Well hello there and Happy New Year!

I am so excited about the new calendar year and how fired up we get about making positive changes in our lives! I love how we’ll spend ample time (either at the end of the year or the beginning of the new year) reflecting on *everything* and choosing what we want to improve.

But there’s one thing I don’t understand… How we try to convince ourselves that the new year automatically equals a new you. (Hence, the hashtag and common phrase #NewYearNewYou).

I mean, I’m all for self-improvement, but are you really going to make all of these changes in one swoop, just because there’s a new set of 365 days? I’ve never been able to, so if you can, then rock on! (And let me know how you do it.)  But, here’s what has been working for me, and may also be of assistance to you.

Are New Year Resolutions Effective?

The simple answer: a big fat Nope.

I’m a former New Year’s Resolutions-er. (Yes, I made that up.) I would block out days between Christmas and New Year to just be, and think, and create… this grandiose vision for what I wanted the next year to embody. And while I do still take the time to reflect on the previous year, and set a broad overview of goals, I no longer set the “traditional” New Year’s resolutions.


Because I kept failing. And usually by the “normal” February mark. (Side note on failure: Yes, it sometimes sucks, and it happens to all of us. Learn something from it and carry on.)

I would always buckle under the pressure of being a “new me” for the new year — and in the process — make minimal changes.

I’ve since started implementing more changes when I feel they are needed, rather than waiting for permission from the date on the calendar. What I like about doing things this way is:

  1. There’s more focus on self-improvement throughout the year, rather than just at one point in time.
  2. There’s more awareness of what’s working and isn’t working. (i.e. Still not having an exercise routine in time for summer shorts. Grrr)
  3. There’s less stress to do #allthethings at one time. (And therefore more action because the fear of failure is reduced.)


:ivingTheClassyLife.com_How To Make New Year Resolutions

Know Yourself For The Best Results

The whole point of making resolutions is to create change, but, you have to honor and know who you are… How you operate and what motivates you. Take me for example — I’m naturally pretty lazy laid back. So for someone like me, having a step-by-step plan improves my chances of taking action. I would often set broad, generic resolutions that didn’t honor how I operate (like get fit, or eat healthy, or make more money)  – then get frustrated and quit.

I’ll give you an example. One popular resolution to start running. (I attempted this last year and did pretty good with the Couch to 5K program.) The only reason I was able to achieve any type of success was that I had a laid out plan on what to do, and when to do it. Had I left it to myself, I would’ve stopped when the walking got difficult.

How to Succeed at Your New Year’s Resolutions

So, how do you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?

The simple answer: Make a plan.

Now that you’ve acknowledged your strengths and weaknesses – make a plan to overcome those obstacles that always get in your the way. Break down your resolutions into actionable steps. For example:

  • If your goal is to get more organized, look up tools that compliment your preferred style of working. (i.e. planners vs notebooks vs digital apps). I prefer pen-to-paper so the Bullet Journal method of organizing works wonders for me.
  • If your goal is to eat more healthy foods – find out what foods you’d like to add to your meals, plan a day to shop, get the materials you need to meal prep and do it.
  • If your goal is to take better care of yourself, say through practicing more self-care, then figure out what that means to you, and find the activities that work best for you.

Let’s Chat …

What are some of the resolutions (or goals) that you’ve set for this upcoming year? One of my biggest goals is to blog more (and I’ve already planned out a blogging calendar to better achieve that.) Let me know in the comments below.

Also, if you really are looking to practice more self-care, then, by all means, check out my freebie on Why Self-Care is NOT Selfish.


Hugs & Happiness, and as always, Stay Classy!







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Photo Credit: Photo by Tatiana Lapina on Unsplash

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