Most of us do it – make New Year’s resolutions that last 2 weeks or maybe 2 months if we are really lucky. Here are a few ways to increase your chances of keeping your New Year’s resolutions for next year.

Start Working Towards Your Goals Now

Who says that you have to wait until January 1st to start working on your goal? You can start making small changes to your daily lifestyle to make it easier for you to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. If your goal is to save more money, you can start by socking a few dollars away right now. If your goal is to lose weight, you can start walking right now and make a game plan for your diet. Make it easier to reach your goal by working on it today.

Create Tangible Goals

You can make it easier to hold to your New Year’s goals by creating very clear and specific goals that can be easily measured. Instead of making a general goal like eliminating your credit card debt, you need to make your goal more specific. For example, your goal could be to reduce your credit card debt by $10,000 by the end of 2012. This gives you a tangible target to hit and makes it easier to judge your progress. Tangible goals are much more likely to be stuck to than intangible goals.

Get an Accountability Partner

Sometimes it takes more than willpower to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. It often takes an accountability buddy to make sure that you do not let your goals lapse. You should get a partner who can motivate you and provide you with encouragement and support in your goal setting. You could join a group or tell friends and family members about your goal. It is easier to achieve your goal with support and you can help them too.

My husband and I became each other’s accountability partner when we joined Weight Watchers in January 2011. It is much easier to stay on track when you have someone else on the same path with you.  We even joined a gym together recently and help each other remember to go.

Check In On Your Resolutions

It is not just enough to create a list of resolutions – you need to review it often. That’s why it is so important to write a list down on a sheet of paper or in a post. Check your list every day or at least a few times a week. You will remember your goals if they are fresh in your mind.

I made a goal to lose 20 pounds in 2011. I actually lost 30, gained back 10, and lost another 2-3, but let’s ignore that for now. What helped me while I was really making the push was to hang a picture of myself at my largest on my refrigerator. It was a lot easier to skip the extra whatever-sounded-good when I had to look myself in the face.

How else do you make sure to keep your New Year’s resolutions?


Crystal Stemberger uses Budgeting in the Fun Stuff to write about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way.