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4 tips to keep up your resolutions

It’s a few weeks into year 2023 and that means by now around 80% of New Years resolutions have failed. Before you put away your art supplies and start using your treadmill as a coat rack, please continue to read.

By now some of you may have noticed that I have been a lot more active on social media and making content both here and for Therapyfornerds. I had some resolutions of my own and here’s how I hope to keep them:

1. Be specific.

Was your resolution to “eat healthier,” “exercise more,” or “learn a new language.”? That’s a pretty general goal. There’s no way to measure how you are going to meet it and so you are less likely to work towards it.

Instead specify your goal. Don’t just “eat healthier.” Have one plant based dinner a week. Increase vegetable intake from one serving a day to three servings a day. Increase sea food intake to 1-2 a week and so on.

Don’t “exercise more.” Go to the gym twice a week. Go on a walk every day. Do 30 minutes of yoga twice a week.

Don’t “learn a new language.” Sign up for a class. Do 15 minutes of an online program three times a week. Practice with a friend for one hour once a week.

By specifying the goals they become more concert. Instead of grasping at the smoke that is “eat healthier,” planning on doing meatless Mondays is something more tangible that you can schedule around.

2. Don’t let a slip ruin the year.

So you went one week without reaching your goal. It can be easy to say “this is hopeless,” and give up. There’s 52 weeks in a year. If you go from completing your goal from 0 weeks to even just 20 weeks that’s progress. What if that ends up being the only week all year that you slipped? By giving up you give up a potential of 51 out of 52 for a mere 1-2 out of 52.

3. Have an accountably partner.

Someone who you tell the resolutions too who is wiling to check up on you is great but someone who wishes to complete to goal as well is even better. This way you can help each other, encourage each other, and remind each other. Enlist the help of people close to you that may have similar goals.

4. Set smaller rewards.

If your original broad goal was to eat healthier than giving yourself candy once a week for doing just that may be counterproductive but a problem with a lot of these kinds of goals is the payoff is slow and often not very visible. Give yourself small rewards that are easier to see the benefits of. Maybe after a meatless Monday meal you treat yourself to an hour of your favorite show or video game guilt free. Maybe at the end of the year you give yourself a big reward. That vacation you deserve or tickets to that concert.

I know for myself I have a goal of getting back into content creation. I’d love to post something new either on my private practice page or for therapy for nerds every 1-2 weeks. Which I’ve done ok with so far. I am keeping in mind that I have a lot more time and energy restraints then I had in the past. So if there’s a few weeks that I’m not able to get content out there then that’s ok. Any amount is more than last year.

What was your resolution? Are part of the 20% who managed to keep it up? Let me know.

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