Tips for making successful New Year’s Resolutions

Whether it be cooking more meals at home, drinking more water, or sticking to an exercise routine, New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but, for many of us, hard to maintain. With 2022 just around the corner, we’re sharing practical tips to help you achieve your goals for this coming year.

Work up to your goals.
Instead of diving in headfirst Jan. 1, work on gradually reaching your goals throughout the beginning of the year. For example, if your goal is to start taking a walk every night, evaluate your starting point and add in a couple more walks each week for the month of January. In February, add in one or two more each week and so on until you’ve reached your goal.

Think of the day-to-day practicality.
Senior Manager of OSP Engineering & Construction Rusty’s resolution is straightforward: Every time he makes a meal at home, something from his yard (garden) goes into that meal. In summer, this is easy as fruits and vegetables abound. To get through the winter, though, he must make sure to freeze, can, or dry enough veggies and berries to make it through or rely on his winter garden of kale and turnips.

“I think the reason I’ve been successful with this is it’s easy on a day-to-day basis. For example, if I’m feeling lazy or don’t have time to cook, I can heat a can of soup and drop in a pinch of dried cayenne pepper flakes from last summer’s garden, which still qualifies as ‘something from the yard.’”

Download a habit tracker app.
One of the most satisfying parts of accomplishing goals is being able to check off your success at the end of the day. With an app designed for keeping track of your goals, you can do just that. Plus, habit tracker apps can send you notifications throughout your day to remind you to drink water or call your mom or whatever your resolutions are.

Focus on others.
Resolutions are often focused on me, me, me. For 2022, try focusing your goals on your family, friends, and community, instead. Other-focused goals are often easier to maintain when lack of motivation strikes. Network Specialist Anna said her resolution each year is to pay it forward in some way. She does this by participating in community service, donating clothes, sending birthday cards to children, and ordering food for families in need.

Make approach-oriented goals.
New Year’s resolutions are either approach-oriented (an action that produces a positive outcome) or avoidance-oriented (an action that avoids a negative outcome). While the desired result may be the same, your outlook on your goals matters significantly. In fact, research shows that people with approach-oriented resolutions are more successful than those with avoidance-oriented goals. Instead of wanting to eat less sugar (avoidance-oriented), make your goal to eat more fruits and vegetables (approach-oriented).

Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Trying to plan out every detail may cause more pressure than it’s worth. It may be more beneficial for you to focus on overall growth and happiness than accomplishing specific goals by set deadlines. Manager of OSP Construction Dan said, “My resolution is to NOT make a resolution and just live every day like it’s my last – life is too short not to live.”

Rely on friends and family for support.
We all have days when meeting our goals feels like pulling teeth. In these moments, support and encouragement from the people around us are crucial. Find someone who has similar resolutions as you and check in with each other from time to time to hold each other accountable. As you encourage the success of someone else, you’ll find it increases your motivation as well.

Comment below your goals for 2022, and maybe you’ll find an accountability partner right here in the comments!

By Hannah Drewieck, TDS Communications Intern

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