Motivation logo

How To Make New Year's Resolutions That'll Stick

Small Actions, Big Results

By Laquesha BaileyPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
How To Make New Year's Resolutions That'll Stick
Photo by Nagatoshi Shimamura on Unsplash

Happy Holidays! It’s Christmas which means that it’s almost New Years. I’m writing this while sitting alone in my empty apartment, precisely 6,366 km away from my family. Now that this year is almost over, I think I can speak for everyone when I say it was a bit grim. You know…pandemic, widespread job loss, online school, death! I admit that I spent much of this year feeling lost and alone and sad and way too introspective. Since this is generally the time of year when people make resolutions, goals and dreams that tend to fall off as soon as February, I thought I’d add to the pot and share a few of my hopes for the new year. And also the tips and tricks that I plan to use to honour them.

Part of the reason why people find it so difficult to stick to their resolutions, in my opinion, is that they are often so large and specific that they lead to a sense of burnout and defeatism fairly quickly. It’s not “I want to make small changes to lead a healthier life” but “I want to lose 50 pounds in a month”. Initially, there’s the high of doing something new and working towards a goal, but it’s gone before you ever achieve anything meaningful.

I listened to the book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear earlier this year and he said something that has stuck with me ever since. The author posits that we should focus on setting systems, not goals. When I first heard this, I’ll be honest, I thought “That’s incredibly stupid”. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made to me. Instead of focusing on a narrow goal that we either 1)won’t meet or 2)will meet and then not how to proceed when it’s over, we should think small actions, big results. Focus on building bite-sized, positive and manageable habits and creating an environment that makes the attainment of any goal, no matter how large, almost inevitable. With that being said, my 4 resolutions for this year are fuzzy and undefined but the habits that I hope to instill in myself are pretty darn clear so…here goes.

1. I wish to work towards a better relationship with money

The tiny changes I can make in my daily life to foster this good relationship include: keeping track of my day-to-day spending, making a conscious effort to save what little I can and trying to limit the amount of times per week I get food delivered to once instead of 10,000 times. I also hope to take a 3-day grace period to decide before making any massive purchase. Do I really that thing or do I just think that I need it?

2. I wish to lead a healthier life

To do this, I need to tackle the underlying issues behind my disordered eating and my aversion for certain types of food. Now that I live in the heart of downtown, I can also endeavour to walk more often to places instead of taking the bus or Ubering there. I can maintain the 4x/week exercise routine that I established in 2020. That’s easier now that we’re back in lockdown and I’m working from home. I also wish to drink more water this year and go to bed earlier because the bags under my eyes…yikes!

3. I wish to have a more fulfilling university life

I want to limit the time spent doing “school-stuff” to the weekdays so that I can spend my weekends focusing on things I love doing. To achieve this, I can create a study schedule instead of winging it this year. I want to be more involved on campus. I can attend more guest lectures and seminars that pique my interest, continue to volunteer for different organizations and attend events that seem fun.

4. I wish to be happier this year

In service of this hope, I can: limit social media time first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I will more thoughtfully curate my social media so that I am only consuming content that makes me happy. I can start journalling again nightly so that I am not releasing the brunt of my anger and sadness on others. I also aim to grow my meditation practice to 5 mins daily. I will start taking more courses on things that I love doing: writing, drawing, photography, video editing, public speaking. Most of all, I will lean into my support system and call my family and friends more often this year.

The end of the year is a great time to think and reflect on the year past and how we can continue evolving and growing. I’ve never had such broad and vague resolutions before. It’s always “I wanna save X amount of money” and “I wanna do this thing and the next”. Maybe that’s why they hardly ever pan out. I hope that this coming year will be different. What are some of your resolutions for next year? Do you set resolutions at all and are you good at keeping them?


About the Creator

Laquesha Bailey

22 years old literally, about 87 at heart. I write about self care, university life, money, music, books and whatever else that piques my interest.


Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.