How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions (For Real This Time)

Oh no, is it really almost January?

Crap! I’ve got 3 days to complete my new year’s resolutions that I laid out last January. Do you think I have enough time to lose 30 pounds, learn to speak Italian, and write a novel???

Why does this happen every year? We make a vow to stop being so lazy, sloppy, or selfish in the new year, but 12 months later, we’re still the same people we were on January 1.

Maybe we should…sigh…stop making new year’s resolutions? I always did like sitting on the couch…

No way! I say, don’t give up yet!

Sure, maybe you didn’t keep your resolutions this year (or any year), but there’s still hope that lasting change is possible for you and me.

There’s about 2.5 bajillion resources out there about how you can stick to your new year’s resolutions (and I’ll include some at the end of this post), so I won’t bore you with the same old stuff.

What can tell you are the things that helped make my resolutions achievable.

  • Limit yourself to 1 or 2 goals. Any more than that and you’ll lose focus. It’s easier to move on to your next goal after you’ve been successful in establishing the first one.
  • Create a very detailed plan. You know the saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Well, it’s true. Plan for every aspect or scenario, including how you’ll get back on track when (not if) you mess up. A pretty new planner helps too.
  • Get as much support as possible. Tell all your friends and family about your goal and ask for their support. If you’re trying to lose weight, they’ll be less likely to offer you seconds if they know your goal. They might even want to join you!

I don’t think you should throw in the towel just because you might not have been able to keep your resolutions in the past. We should never stop trying to improve ourselves!

Are you making a new year’s resolution? If so, what is it? How are you preparing?


  1. NavLandStyle on January 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I love this post and I do spend almost every new yr in the twilight zone! Gives me time to think and reflect 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    xo Nav

  2. Megan Gann on December 31, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Happy New Year! I always have the same goal “Do more!” I never set goals based around the new year. I don’t really feel like there is any monumental change that the new year is going to inspire in me. It’s just another change of day, another number. I should strive everyday to do more, do better, and be more effective.

  3. Tinfoil Tiaras on December 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Ah New Year’s resolutions- I always start off on the right foot but give up after a while. Except for fitness- 2011 is the first year that I stuck with it and I feel better than ever! Great tips- I think having support goes a long way! Happy New Year Sage and adorable pics!

  4. Anna on December 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I have one goal only: find a job I will love. Given the economic climate and my status as a fresh grad (I plan to start the job after graduation in June/July) I’m not going to hold my breath… but I *am* going to look hard and be idealistic until I reality kicks me in the face.

    • Anna on December 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      And, of course, have a fantastically, incredibly, and phenomenally happy New Year!

  5. Kat on December 30, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I actually have a joint “New Year’s Resolution” with about 24 people on my acting website who like to write. I set up a writing program modeled after National Novel Writing Month where we’ll be writing four moderate-length novels over the course of a year. If I can stamp out novels 4-7 in 2012, I’ll be happy!

  6. xvavaveganx on December 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I never really made New Year’s Resolutions but I actually have a few that I’m planning this year. They are really the same goals that I try to achieve every year so it is more of a continuation of the same, but I am hoping that making it “official” will help me to stay on track. I do great in spurts but I tend to fall of the wagon. Maybe my resolution should be for consistency in my routine 😉 Great advice, as always!

  7. Molly on December 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore, but I do have constant goals that I work towards. It’s a good thing to have some goals in sight! Although, I think too many people put too much pressure on themselves. Not having a time limit and just going with the flow works for me best.

    Oh, and I love the picture!

  8. Shybiker on December 29, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Your approach to difficult problems is always so sensible, so wise. I admire that.

    You identify the self-defeating elements that sabotage most people’s resolutions and propose workable solutions. Your suggestions are sound, which I can attest to from experience.

    Without question, your blog is becoming the most valuable one I read. I hope others learn about this and come here to benefit from your ideas.

    • Sage on December 29, 2011 at 7:27 am

      Aw, thanks, Ally. I find your blog extremely valuable too. I don’t have all the answers (and I sure mess up a lot!), but I like to think I can give good advice without being judgy.

      • Shybiker on December 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

        Hey, buddy. I just plugged your blog in my final post of the year. Flattering as my words are, they’re all true!

  9. H&K Style Journey on December 29, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Good post. The best advice is to definitely keep resolutions to just one or two goals. It seems more manageable that way. I have no resolutions this year, other than to work hard and help our new business venture succeed! Heather

    • Sage on December 29, 2011 at 7:25 am

      I’m so excited for you about your new business venture! It would be really rewarding to be your own boss. I don’t have anything that big on my resolutions list this year. Maybe I’ll finally lose those last 10 pounds?