Published: Jan. 4, 2019 By

New Year, new resolution. Creating New Year’s resolutions can be difficult, especially when we are faced with a laundry list of things we’d like to change, achieve or do this year. To help you be more successful, we’re sharing some out-of-the-box tips for making New Year’s resolutions (that stick).

Person writing down plans for New Year's resolutionsChoose small steps over big changes

Many of us start our New Year’s resolutions with big goals in mind: be healthier, save money, make new friends, land a job or get into grad school. All of these are great goals to have, but sometimes larger goals can be daunting or difficult to achieve. Our advice: Break them up into smaller steps.

If you’re looking to be healthier, start by swapping soda for water, try a fitness class at The Rec, take the stairs or park further from campus. To save money, start by setting up a savings account, creating a monthly budget or limiting your impulse purchases. Focus on small achievements that will help you get closer to your end goal while keeping you motivated.

Remember, it’s the little things that tend to have the greatest impact.

Create habits

Creating habits is one of the best ways to reduce “resolution fatigue” and keep you from falling off the wagon. Even if we have fool-proof reasoning behind our resolutions, our motivation to follow through with those activities can begin to dwindle, especially after the initial excitement for the New Year wears off. That’s why we recommend working your resolutions into your daily routines, so you can keep going even when motivation begins to fade.

If you’d like to be better about going to the gym, start a habit of setting out your workout clothes the night before. This will make it easier to simply grab and go. Want to get better sleep? Try setting an alarm to notify you an hour before bed to give you ample time to wind down and prepare for a restful night.

Make it fun

Do you dread the idea of making New Year’s resolutions? Do you get overwhelmed by the amount of changes you’re expected to make in a single year? Rather than focusing on all of the things you’d like to change this year, try focusing on all of the things you’d like to do this year instead by creating an annual bucket list.

Think of activities that you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps you’ve never wandered the Denver Art Museum, explored Rocky Mountain National Park or seen the sun rise at Yoga on the Rocks. Maybe there is a trip you’ve been meaning to take or an activity you’ve been meaning to try. Now is your chance to make it happen.

Come up with 10 to 15 activities you’d like to do this year and make a list. Each month, look back at your list and decide which activities you’re going to conquer. Not only will you be fulfilling your resolution, but you’ll actually enjoy doing it, too!