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5 Tips to Help Make Your New Year's Goals Come True

Only 8 percent of people achieved their resolutions in 2021.

Key points

  • One problem with New Year's resolutions is that most people pick aspirational ones rather than things they can integrate into their daily lives.
  • Before making a resolution for 2023, reminding oneself of the goals achieved in the past year can help create momentum.
  • Generating positive feelings of self-respect and self-worth is more important than accomplishing one's initial goals.
Source: RawPixel/Shutterstock

Unfortunately, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people achieved their New Year’s resolutions in 2021. One problem with making resolutions is that most people pick things that are aspirational, and not based on the reality of integrating them into their normal day-to-day activities. This sets us up for failure, which erodes our confidence and creates self-doubt.

One encouraging trend is that the number one resolution sought by Gen Z-aged adults (18–25 years old) for next year is an improvement in their mental health. In addition, many people are using social media to access mental health professionals who are offering advice on how to make positive life changes next year. Gen Zs are not the ones fueling this trend. Adults of all ages are seeking strategies to heighten their sense of self-empowerment and overall life satisfaction.

Resolutions fall under the domain of setting goals, so to give you a head start into 2023, I’ve developed a handful of tips to help empower you to set and achieve meaningful resolutions and goals in the New Year.

  1. Remind yourself of the goals you achieved in 2022. Focus on what you’ve accomplished in 2022. It’s important to remind yourself which goals you set and achieved in the past year. Embrace the forward movement you’ve made and use it as momentum to carry you into the New Year, regardless of how large or small. Re-establish goals in the areas where you feel you fell short. Make sure they feel achievable.
  2. Make a list of new goals you’re willing to commit to. Look at your life and write up a list of the key areas that feel important, giving it depth and breadth: work/school, social, health, self-evolution, or hobbies. Commit to making realistic growth in those areas. Be honest and authentic in your choices. Try to set a minimum amount of acceptable progress you want to achieve and avoid regressing in any of your targeted areas.
  3. Be patient. Look at your resolutions as a work in progress. Determine which specific skills you can focus on growing throughout the year. For example, choosing patience as a skill can be beneficial in all areas of your life. By February, 80 percent of people have already given up on their resolutions. Develop short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Understand achieving realistic goals is not a sprint—it’s a marathon.
  4. Build tasks incrementally. If you choose a resolution that is task-based, start with minor tasks that are manageable and build from there. It will help raise the probability you’ll achieve success. For example, if your goal is to increase the frequency of your exercise regimen, build incrementally. Set days, times, and lengths. Add another day, or double it, whatever you feel you can manage. Your brain will adjust to your level of discipline and help you successfully execute your tasks.
  5. Allow time to evaluate your progress. Try to add reflection and affirmation to your progress toward achieving your goals. Whether you decide to schedule check-ins once a month or once a quarter, put them on your calendar. Allow yourself time to evaluate your progress. Remain open and flexible to adjust if necessary. Implementing an effective strategy of self-monitoring will enable you to have the highest likelihood of success at the end of the year. This will elevate your level of confidence and competence.

Generating positive feelings of self-respect and self-worth is more important for achieving life satisfaction than whether you succeeded at the initial goals you set. So, remember to look at your New Year's resolutions as works in progress.


Sara Davis and Jessica DiGiacinto, (December 7, 2022), 50% Of Gen Z Cite This Health Improvement As A Top New Year's Resolution for 2023, Forbes Health

Catherine Choi, (December 4, 2020), New Year's Resolutions Statistics, Finder