As I approach 24, I’ve realized resolutions are fickle. They’re promises you make to yourself after the winter depression sets in and you decide you want to better yourself–a fresh start.

What I have learned is not to make things complicated. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t commit to 10 life-changing things and attempt to squeeze them into a passion driven few months.

A few key ways to set realistic resolutions:

  1. Don’t call them resolutions. The word ‘resolution’ has become a stigma. You know you probably aren’t going to stick to these things for all twelve months of the new year if you call them resolutions.
  2. Make lifestyle changes. Say you want to lose weight (who doesn’t?); don’t set the goal of losing weight, set a goal to shop for produce at your local farmer’s market, start every morning with a green smoothie, cook meals for yourself. Simple, straightforward, lifestyle changes are also more likely to stick.
  3. Don’t give up when you mess up. So you ate that piece of chocolate cake, you haven’t been as adventurous as you planned–don’t sell yourself short. There is a reason there are 365 days in a year. That’s 365 chances to better yourself and accomplish your goals.
  4. Plans change. Come June you decide you haven’t traveled enough. Resolutions don’t have to be made come January 1 of each year. Think of them as levels in that game–they don’t all unlock at once. You have to work at different skill levels as you learn more about yourself, become a better person and adapt. Set a goal in June to accomplish by Christmas. Still a 2016 resolution in my opinion!

A new year is a new start, one that prompts new promises. But so is every day, week, month. Resolve to take 2016 by the horns. And hey, if you set small, realistic goals, when you achieve them you’ll feel that much more accomplished!

What are your goals for this year? How do you keep yourself motivated to stick to them? 

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