How do I make and keep a New Year's resolution?

2020 has been a difficult year for many people, but we can start thinking about how to make the best of the new year.

What is a New Year’s resolution?

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition where people promise to improve their lives at the start of the new year. 

Just because the clocks turn doesn’t mean things will magically change. That’s why some people use the beginning of a new year to intentionally work on their goals or create better habits. 

Knowing that others across the world may be doing the same thing gives many people more motivation to make that commitment. 

How do I make a New Year’s resolution?

Your New Year’s resolution should be something realistic that you can work to achieve and that makes you or the quality of your life better. 

That requires a lot of self-awareness. Before jumping right into goal-setting, think about your habits, behaviours, feelings, and your environment. What are you happy about? What parts of your life could use improvement? Where do you see yourself in the future?

Try not to be too self-critical. As important as it is to take initiative to change things, it’s just as important to acknowledge and be grateful about all the good things. 

Once you better understand yourself, decide what you want to focus on improving. Your New Year’s resolution may or may not have a deadline. It may drastically change your life, or better it in a small but significant way. It may require a lot of work or simply a shift in your mindset. Your New Year’s resolution is whatever you make it out out to be!

What should my New Year’s resolution be?

New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak. Here are some different types:

Resolve to build better habits

  • Improve your diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Limit screen time on social media

Resolve to accomplish a personal goal

  • Check in on friends and family
  • Learn a new language
  • Work on a creative talent, like singing or art
  • Go on a vacation
  • Read more 

Resolve to go further in your studies or career 

  • Build a strong network
  • Build good study habits
  • Do extracurricular activities
  • Manage your time effectively
  • Learn a new skill 

How do I hold myself accountable?

Once you’ve made your New Year’s resolution(s), the hard part will be to keep it! 

You can set yourself up for success by tracking your progress in a journal or an app, asking your friends and family to encourage and motivate you, and by adjusting your goals when you need to. 

Remember, it’s okay if you don’t achieve all your goals exactly the way you wanted to. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes, and celebrate your successes.