holidays, Self-Improvement

5 Steps To Make Realistic New Year Resolutions

The new year is coming up and the first thing that comes to my mind is:



I know not everyone is a fan of new years resolutions but I am! To me they are a great opportunity to truly think about what you want to get out of the next year and how to optimize the time you have. And then making those thoughts into resolutions (or goals) are a great way to make them actually happen!

But you need to make sure that the goals you are setting are realistic and achievable. Which is why I put together this 5 step guide to New Years resolutions- how to make them realistic and then how to actually do them.

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Step 1: Focus on a couple goals

Throwback to 13 year old Korra making a list of approximately 30 new year resolutions and then getting bored with them by week 2 (I was an ambitious but easily bored kid okay?! ha). Thankfully I have learned over the years that focusing on 2-4 resolutions significantly increase the chances that you can complete them and actually create the new habits/improved life that you are wanting.

If you start thinking of resolutions and end up with 20 then take a hard look at the list and do 2 things: prioritize and categorize.

To prioritize- take a little bit to truly think about what you want from the next year. Envision what will make you feel successful and satisfied at the end of the year. Use those visions to really determine what is going to be the most important resolutions for you to focus your time and energy on.

To categorize- still have 15 things on the list? Probably because a lot of them really fall under one larger resolution goal. For example, is go to the gym 4 times a week, eat 2 servings of veggies every day, and lose 5 pounds a month all on your list? Well those all fall under a larger umbrella of getting healthy. Those are different steps towards that resolution but don’t need to be separated out into their own resolutions.

Step 2: Write down the goals

Just thinking about your resolutions isn’t going to make them happen or make them realistic. Write a pen and paper list (okay or on your iPhone but don’t let it get lost in a million notes or screenshots). And then LOOK AT THE LIST REGULARLY. Even if you know you won’t forget your resolutions having them written down makes it feel more concrete and less like an “oh I guess I should do this” and more of a “I am going to do this”.

I’m going to repeat myself- you need to look at the list. For me that means putting it nice and big above my desk at home. But put it wherever you will look at it frequently.

Get a cute notebook or even better a stick on the wall poster (whiteboard works too) that you can look at to keep the goals visual.

Cute notebooks:



Put it up on the walls:

Self-Adhesive Whiteboard Wall Decal Sticker

Black Chalkboard Contact Paper Vinyl Wall Decal Poster

Step 3: Get an accountability buddy

At minimum tell someone close to you about your resolutions but ideally if there is someone in your life that you can work with to hold each other accountable that is perfect. For a lot of people that is your significant other or a family member, but regardless of who it is just make sure they are someone who will help encourage you!


You can absolutely also have different accountability buddies for different resolutions. The buddy to help you get healthy is not necessarily the same buddy who will help you with learning to play the guitar.


Step 4: Map out the stages of the goals

No goal or resolution is just one step. “get healthy” has so many steps and parts and is going to be super personalized for everyone. Some resolutions like “spend less time on my phone” don’t have nearly as many stages but something super ambitious like “launch my own company” has 20-30 stages (and will require a whole business plan!). But don’t let the stages scare you! It’s best to map it all out so you know that you can start at the beginning and succeed.

Making literally a road map to success can take away a lot of the stress of resolutions and can help make them actually achievable. This is especially important if you have a pretty intense resolution that you are aiming for.

After you map out the stages make sure you work towards them weekly and I seriously recommend using a planner to help keep you on track for that!

ab6412a0-7a16-40c7-83d5-13cadc5d6a95.jpg(FYI Me and My Big Ideas makes my favorite planners)

I have tons of posts on planners but I would say if you are reading this and going “ugh I don’t want to use that I never can stick to it” then go read this: 5 Reasons Your Planner Isn’t Working

Step 5: Reward yourself along the way

Resolutions are to improve you not stress you out and make you miserable. So if you find yourself feeling de-motivated then make sure to reward yourself along the way! As you are mapping out the stages make a list of rewards like this one for getting healthy:

Goal    –     Reward

Lose 5 pounds    –   new gym outfit

Lose 10 pounds    –   new gym shoes

Lose 15 ponds   –   fancy dinner

Lose 20 pounds   –    shopping spree



What are your new years resolutions? How do you stick to them? Let me know!




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