How To Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick

January 23, 2018

How did you do on your 2017 New Year resolutions? 

If you're like most people, you probably let some or all of them slip. Research shows that only 9% of Americans claim total success for even one resolution. Usually by the end of the first month, nearly half of us have given up.

Worry not. If you want to know how to make a better job of it in 2018 we're here to help.

According to, 41% of Americans usually make resolutions, and about the same proportion say they absolutely never make them.

The research site also tells us that the Top 10 resolutions (starting with the most popular) are as follows:

  1. Losing weight or improving diet
  2. Self-improvement
  3. Making better financial decisions (including being properly insured)
  4. Quitting smoking
  5. Doing more exciting things
  6. Spending more time with family and friends
  7. Improving physical fitness
  8. Learning a new skill
  9. Doing more for others
  10. Finding love.

Who knew that finding love would be at the bottom of the table?!?!

12 New Year's Resolution Success Tips

Whether you're ambitions for 2018 are in this chart or not, here are a dozen things that you can do to improve your chances of success

  • Know why you want to make the change. Don’t set a particular resolution because you think you should. Do it because you want to do it. That way you'll be setting yourself up for success. Absolutely don’t regard your resolution as some sort of punishment, something you simply just don't want to do.

  • Strengthen your motivation by looking back at the things you DID achieve during 2017, whether they were resolutions or not. Congratulate yourself. You'll boost your self-confidence by recognizing past success.

  • Don't be over-ambitious, with lots of resolutions or targets that are simply too tough to achieve. Maybe select just one big one -- the most important to you. Then add in a couple of easier, fun goals that you're highly likely to achieve. Don't stretch your goals too far either. Say you want to learn a new language, set yourself an easier target like just completing one section of an audio course within your timeframe. Setting expectations too high is one of the main reasons people abandon their New Year's resolutions.

  • Look for helpful tips on how to meet your goal. Read-up. Watch videos. How have others succeeded at what you want to do? Maybe even review if your own ideas are realistic. Scale them back if not.

  • Map it out. Make a plan, including a specific target and a timetable. Block off daily or weekly time in your schedule. Remember too that a resolution doesn't have to be for a whole year. You can set a shorter or longer target. For example, you could have less demanding new resolutions every three months.

  • Also, remember that you don’t have to start your resolution on January 1. You can delay your start to a day or date when you know you're more likely to succeed. Give yourself an early boost!

  • Share your resolve. Often telling others about your plan can help keep you on course. Or perhaps you can share your goal with another person with the same resolution. Work on it together and support each other, You can also set up encouraging reminders and post sticky-notes to yourself. They'll feel like additional support from an unseen ally!

  • Include milestones in your plan -- lots of points along the way that will enable you to record and celebrate successes. This can help strengthen your determination to succeed. Plus, you can reward yourself as your reach each milestone -- perhaps with some retail therapy!

  • Keep a regular diary of what you've done towards your resolution. This can help you keep track of progress and drive you forward with your plan. It will also give you something to look back on to identify any lessons your learned that might help you with other resolutions.

  • Look out for and avoid things that might trip you up. If you're trying to eliminate alcohol or certain foods from your diet, give that cocktail party a miss, especially in the early days.

  • Don't be afraid to alter your resolution or your timetable if you can see it's not working out the way you thought it would. Better to reduce your goal than to abandon it altogether.

  • And don’t give up if you happen to go astray -- say, for example, breaking your diet when you go out for that birthday dinner. Just pick yourself up and climb back on that wagon. You haven't failed until you abandon your resolve. As famous coach Vince Lombardi once said, "It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up."

Make Life Easier

You have an unlimited number of choices when it comes to selecting your New Year's resolution. But a good guiding principle should be to look for goals that make life easier.

For example, resolving to get the insurance protection you need for you and your family, could remove countless worries for the year ahead.

But you can go beyond that. If you already have insurance, speak to your agent about whether it's enough to meet your needs. Contact Aldrich Taylor Insurance today for comprehensive insurance protection.

And if you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, why not add a simple resolution to make life easier for yourself if you have to make a claim? It's a simple one to do, one you can quickly check off on your list.

How? By resolving to take a full inventory of your home's contents. It's easy to do this these days using templates and apps available for computers and mobile devices. And you can use your smartphone camera to record serial numbers.

A simple video tour of each room will provide reminders of your home's contents if you ever have to make a claim.

If you do these things, you'll be adding a bit more peace of mind to your plans for 2018!

Get the Habit

Your attitude and state of mind are the most important things when it comes to New Year's resolution success. If you think of your plans as an adventure rather than an ordeal and keep your mental sights fixed on the outcome you want to achieve, you'll be significantly raising your likelihood of success.

No one says that sticking to resolutions is easy but there's no doubt that, as you progress through time, the challenge does become easier.

The aim of the game is to create new habits that mirror your goals, and research shows that it takes months rather than weeks before a new habit is embedded in your lifestyle. But just the setting and naming of resolutions increases your chances of success -- up to 10 times more.

So, go to it with enthusiasm. Good luck!