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How to Stay True to Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2024

A New Year means new goals. Here are a few steps to help you stay true to them in 2024.

Vision board
Vision board. (Image credit: Shutterstock/Perbanggart)

Many people across the world make New Year’s resolutions as the old year comes to an end and a new, promising year begins. But why do we make these goals at this specific time of the year? And how do we stay true to them?

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions usually involve health and fitness goals such as eating healthier and exercising more while others include a better work-life balance or spending more time with friends and family.

According to licensed clinical psychologist Terri Bly, the reason why we make these resolutions at the beginning of the New Year is that it is “an opportunity for reflection.” At the same time, others suggest that this fresh start is what people need to be able to start implementing new habits.

How many keep their resolutions?

When looking at how many people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions, researchers have found, in a study from 2020, that 55% of the candidates had been successful at sustaining their resolutions after a year.

Moreover, the study also points to goals that involve a change in habits, such as eating, exercising or sleeping, are more likely to succeed than goals that involve avoidance.

This indicates you are more likely to keep your goal of exercising more if you create new habits rather than tell yourself, “I can never do” this or that again.

How to keep your resolutions

Credit: Shutterstock/TippaPatt

So, how are you supposed to keep up with these goals for the New Year? In an article by Forbes Magazine, methods that have been tried and tested are presented. These include the importance of self-control as well as planning, prioritizing and being able to reward yourself. Other approaches, such as reducing stress, having someone else to keep you accountable and positive self-talk, are also highlighted.

Positive self-talk

Credit: Shutterstock/Olga 777

The power of a strong mindset and positive self-talk have been proven to increase the chances of keeping and reaching new goals, such as New Year’s resolutions.

The ability to visualize your goals in conjunction with keeping a positive self-talk, such as saying, “I can do this” or “I am good at what I do” has shown to have a positive effect on your goalkeeping.

This method has also been used by many athletes who use this it to help achieve their performance goals. According to Forbes, upholding a more positive inner speech can help encourage and motivate yourself to stay true to your resolutions.

More concrete goals

Credit: Shutterstock/everythingbagel

A second method would be to set more literal, concrete and approachable New Year’s resolutions. Rather than setting a goal of just being happier or relaxing more it might be beneficial to set some more concrete ways of how to do this. Relaxation looks different from person to person.

Here it could be an idea to write down what you find relaxing. Is it drinking a cup of tea with a good book? Leaving the house for a long walk? Or spending time with the people you love? Relaxing comes in many shapes and sizes.

Therefore, it helps to reflect upon what you personally find relaxing and do this more to achieve this specific goal.


Credit: Shutterstock/Bibadash

This leads to the third method to keeping your New Year’s resolutions namely planning. Most people are aware of the importance of planning and prioritizing your time as a way of achieving your goals. However, many find it difficult actually to stick to these plans.

For some, it might help to find a dedicated time of the week or day to the new goal, such as saying, “I am going to read 20 minutes before bed”. But rather than just saying this, it is important to prioritize your time and actually keep yourself accountable.

Setting monthly goals

Credit: Shutterstock/Dima Kostrov

For the people who do not like New Year’s resolutions, setting monthly goals can be another way to reach your goals. In a TikTok by Niki Detrich, the idea of a list called ‘Create your year’ is presented. The idea is to write down all the months of the year and next to what you want to prioritize that month. This might also be a way of making your goals more approachable and, therefore, less overwhelming.

Vision boards on TikTok

The trend of creating vision boards as a way of manifesting your goals for the New Year has grown especially on TikTok the past year. Videos of friends gathering to create these boards by using magazine cut-outs, powerful quotes and colourful markers have become increasingly popular, such as the videos below by Georgia Davies:

How do vision boards work?

This makes you wonder why do people make these boards and how do they actually work? The idea of creating a vision board ties to the ideas of positive self-talk and visualizing your goals also referred to as a form of manifestation by some people. Vision boards are not supposed to magically change your life from one day to another, but in contrast, make yourself visualize your goals by seeing them every day on a board and force yourself to take active steps towards these goals.

Positive effects of vision boards

According to an article by Oprah Daily, creating vision boards have multiple positive effects. The most prominent one is as a way of increasing motivation as you are faced with a visualization of your dreams and goals on a daily basis.

Furthermore, it is also a fun and creative project that can help you connect with friends as well as create a support system of people who can help you achieve these goals. A vision board can be a changeable visual representation of your goals, and it can, therefore, also change throughout the year.

While making New Year’s resolutions might not be for everybody, some methods, such as the power of positive self-talk, visualization and planning, have been used by many to help achieve these goals.

Moreover, vision boards can also be seen as a tool to visualize your goals and motivation for staying true to your New Year’s resolutions while being creative either alone or with people you love.

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