3 Steps to Setting (And Keeping!) Your New Year Resolutions (plus a free worksheet!)

For the longest time I hated the entire concept of New Year Resolutions. You would think the idea of setting goals and getting organized for an entire year would be the kind of thing I would love, but no.

Just, bleck. No.

I didn’t like them because I never kept them, and that made me feel like a failure. So for a couple of years, I just ignored the concept completely. It’s no wonder I spent those years pretty direction-less. But something tells me I’m not the only one, so I figured maybe we should discuss!

Here’s what I finally figured out: it wasn’t the resolutions themselves that I couldn’t keep, it was the way I was thinking about them, planning them, and executing them that was causing the problem.

When a new year rolls around we feel like so much has changed, when in reality all we’ve done is swap out our calendars. The air of change energizes us, and we feel like we can do anything, change anything. But in reality nothing has changed at all, and when all that energy is gone, our goals fizzle out. Life returns to normal.

We need a plan, and we need to think about goal-setting in a way that’s healthy and honest. Here are my best tips for doing just that! I’ve also included a FREE workbook to help walk you through applying these tips to your own resolutions. Make this the year that you actually keep them. I know you can!

1. Keep them holistic, not specific

I know, I know. This is sort of unorthodox.

You can only predict how this year is going to look to a certain point. A couple of years ago I set a goal that I was going to exercise 4 days a week (typical white girl over here). I was in college at the time, though, and that semester I had a much tougher course load than I had expected. Needless to say, working our 4 days a week was just not going to happen.

What I wish I would have done instead was to set a goal that took a more holistic take on my health and fitness. If my resolution would have been simply to prioritize fitness that year, I could have figured out a way to do that that fit within whatever that year was going to throw at me. Instead, when I couldn’t meet my original goal, I just gave up.

Bottom line: Show yourself (and your life) some grace. If you think more broadly in your goal setting, you’ll allow yourself the room to make adjustments, instead of straight up abandoning ship.

2. Look for the “why”. 

Also in college: one of my goals was to do a better job of getting ready for the day. I’d spent the fall semester stumbling around in a pair of ill-fitting sweats and went almost three months without fixing my hair. Not surprisingly, this was at the top of my resolution list that year. Stop walking around campus looking like a homeless person. That’s what I promised myself.

What I didn’t take into account was why I wasn’t bothering to take care of myself anymore.

I was exhausted. Exhausted to my core. By that point I was so burned out that I didn’t care anymore, and promising myself that I would put lipstick on before I left the house every morning wasn’t going to do squat. What was going on with me was way deeper than that, and my superficial goal wasn’t going anywhere near the real issue.

So that’s what I want you to think about when you’re setting your goals this year. Ask yourself, why? Why aren’t you exercising any more? Why are you spending most of your paycheck every month? Ask yourself the deeper questions, and let your goals reflect what’s really going on. You’re worth it, friend.

3. Create accountability. 

Every Monday night I sit down with my two closest friends and talk about how our lives are going. We even have a little rhythm that we follow, so the conversation doesn’t dissolve into our usual happy chatter. It’s this, more than anything else, that’s been keeping me on track. These are the people who called me out when I stopped working on my blog because I was overwhelmed by the learning curve, and that remind me not to stop eating when I get stressed out. These are my people, you know?

And the best part is, I care just as much about their well-being as they do about mine.

I’ve become absolutely convinced that you need these kind of people in your life to stay on track with your goals. It just takes a village. Not sure who those people are, or what to do once you’ve got ’em? Download my workbook and I’ll help you!
Girl, you can do this. I promise!


  1. Congratulations on your new blog. I love it! Even though I’m much older than 20-30!!!

    1. Author

      Who cares?? I’m so glad you’re here and I hope you visit again soon!

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