9 tips to help you make and keep your New Year’s resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions is easy, but it takes commitment and willpower to follow through with them.

Celeste Lim

Yogurt lover with a Spotify playlist for every mood.

Published: 29 December 2020, 3:29 PM

It’s that time of the year where we reflect on the past 12 months and figure out how to do better in the upcoming year. That’s right – it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions.

The new year is the perfect opportunity to start afresh and develop good habits, but it’s not always easy to keep your resolutions. A 2020 survey showed that only 46 per cent of people still keep their New Year’s resolutions within the first six months.

Here are some tips that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Set specific and realistic goals

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is being healthier. The problem with it is how cryptic it is – what exactly is “being healthier”?


Other common resolutions include saving money or reading more. PHOTO CREDIT: KRISTINA PAUKSHTITE VIA PEXELS


Instead of merely intending to lead a healthier lifestyle, you have to take note of various factors – such as sleep, diet, or physical activity – and set precise goals with a definite timeline. Your new resolutions should resemble the statements “I will get at least seven hours of sleep every night” or “I will lose 2kg by the end of February”. 

After setting specific goals, be sure to keep them practical by doing some research. Do also start small and take note of your own abilities – for example, if you’ve never exercised before, don’t expect to run 2.4km in less than 13 minutes almost immediately. 

2. Pick only one or two goals

Now that you know how to make resolutions, make sure you stick to up to two goals only. While it can be tempting to take the new year as a completely fresh start, doing a complete lifestyle overhaul can be overwhelming for both you and your body.

Instead of working on changing multiple behaviours at a time, focus on a maximum of two at first, and sideline the other goals for the time being.

3. Make a plan

Now that you have your specific goals ready, your next course of action should be outlining a detailed plan. 


Making a plan gives a good overview of what to expect throughout your journey and helps you prioritise what you need. PHOTO CREDIT: BICH TRAN VIA PEXELS


Start by identifying what comes immediately after – such as booking a time slot at the gym – and slowly work from there. You should review your plan once every few months, and revise it accordingly. 

4. Tell others about your resolution

Whether it’s a friend or family member, we recommend telling someone about your resolution. This can be as simple as announcing your goals on social media.

Your friends can help hold you accountable, motivate or support you. If they have similar resolutions, you can encourage each other!

5. Track your progress

Depending on what your resolution is, there are different websites or apps that allow you to check your progress over a period of time and ensure you keep to your goals. 

Monny lets you see how much you’ve spent, Nike Run Club shows you details and records of your workout sessions and MyFitnessPal helps track your calories.


I use Goodreads to monitor my reading progress. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM GOODREADS APP

6. Set reminders

A survey revealed that many people stopped keeping up with their resolutions simply because they forgot.


Habit trackers in bullet journals can remind you to carry out your habits daily. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@TEANBUJO


To prevent your goals from slipping your mind, you can use calendar notifications or any app for reminders to prompt you. The reminders can be as simple as “Drink water”, “Prepare to sleep in 10 minutes” or “Go for a walk”.

7. Don’t be discouraged if you falter

Keeping to your resolution isn’t going to be easy for sure. After all, you’re making big lifestyle changes.

If you forget about your resolution or break a promise you made to yourself, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re already making amazing progress, so give yourself some leeway!

All you need to do is learn from your mistakes, and remember you can always get back up again.

8. Remind yourself why you started

Throughout your journey, it will be tempting to scrap your resolution and just give up. When that happens, ask yourself: Why does this matter to me? Why did I set this resolution in the first place?


You can prepare a list of reasons you want to begin your resolution. PHOTO CREDIT: AARON BURDEN VIA UNSPLASH

9. Reward yourself

Following through with a New Year’s resolution is not all about resisting temptations and getting knocked down. When you’ve hit a milestone, when you’ve completed something tough or simply whenever you feel like it, feel free to reward yourself!

It can be as simple as treating yourself to bubble tea, ordering something you’ve been eyeing for a while, or taking time off to pamper yourself. This positive reinforcement will also help motivate you to keep up the good work.

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