How To Make New Years Resolutions And Actually Stick To Them!

I am going to say this just one time, just to get it of my chest:
Where has this year gone??!

Now back to the usual programm: It is that time of the year again, those kind of chill yet kind of awkward days between the holiday bubble and the New Years craze, where you are ready to start the next year but there is still a considerable amount of days of December left and you do not really know how to feel about that - Am I the only one feeling this way?
I always get super inspired to start the new year with a bang in terms of being sure of myself, my surroundings, my plans, goals and aspirations for the months ahead, which lead me to sitting down and writing a list of these New Years Resolutions - which then lead me to writing this blogpost, because I wanted to share a list of tips about how to write such list.

And how to actually stick to it.

1. Think small

Now, I am always such an advocate for dreaming big, reaching higher, going after whatever it is you really want to chase - and please do not ever forget about these things! However, let them be what they are - goals or even dreams - they actually have no reason to be on your resolutions list! 
Instead think smaller! How are you going to reach this goal? What are the next steps? 
So, let's say you want to become more fit than any of these Instagram gym gurus out there by the end of the year - that is great! Start of that journey by putting Creating a Workout Plan and Going to the gym four days a week on your New Years resolutions list - and then go from there!

2. Be reasonable

It's amazing that you want to go on some life-changing trips next year, finally purchasing that designer bag that you have always been wanting all while updating your wardrobe every season to stay on trend - but is that really compatible with your current student status (let me tell you: it's not!).
This applies to many life circumstances and not just to financial factors. 
The ultimate goals we have do not have to have anything to do with where we are right now, but the steps we need to take to achieve these goals certainly do.
So, maybe you want to take the plunge, quitting your job and finally found that startup you are dreaming about day and night - is that really reasonable to do so while having to pay off a students loan and paying rent? Probably not, but it is perfectly reasonable to write Starting a side project that could potentially turn into a business and Writing a business plan on the list!

3. Be precise
This is actually the most crucial one in my opinion. 
Resolutions won't work unless they can actually be measured. Why? Because that does not leave room for interpretation!
What does Learning to cook even mean? How can you say, oh yes, I learned how to cook by the end of the year? Cut your new years resolutions into tiny little bite sized tasks (no pun intended), until you can not get any more precise:
So you want to save money in 2019? Great! How much would you like to save? What for? Considering your incomings and expenses, how much are you even able to save? When are you going to save and how much? What milestones do you want to meet? 
I want to set aside €50 at the last day of every month and put it in a dedicated savings account, to save up €600 by the end of the year.
Amazing! Do that, you sneaky little millionaire-in-the-making!

4. Do not actually start on the first of January
Yes, I know haha. But I actually recently read a very interesting article about how studies found out that people that wanted to quit smoking were considerably more successful if they did not set a specific date to quit smoking, but quit right there and then, in that second of choosing to do so. 
Imagine raising the probability of achieving a goal only by starting NOW!
So, don't be that person that says they will quit smoking after they finish just this one pack of cigarettes like my grandpa has for years and years (he's still smoking btw). If you want to eat healthier in 2019, don't wait until January, get some groceries and start tonight! This goes for "late" resolutions as well: if you think of something you want to achieve next year by mid-January, please don't wait until you are writing your 2020 resolutions list!

5. Track your progress
Now, we created our new years resolutions list, we were reasonable and precise and went step by step and we might have even started some of these resolutions right there and then (I personally ordered a cookbook yay!) - that was fun!
On to the not-so-fun part: sticking to our resolutions! By following the previous tips you are setting yourself goals that are actually easier to achieve, but you have to see them through.
To me the easiest way to do so is tracking my progress. I did the "saving-some-money-monthly" thing this year and I put a remark in my calendar every month on how much money I've saved so far. My friend did the same thing for a weight loss journey she was one.
It becomes a type of challenge and when you see how far you have come at this point in time, you are more unlikely to quit.
I also have friends that like to reward themselves when hitting a certain milestones of their resolutions during the year. But maybe don't go out and buy something expensive if you really saved up €300 by the end of June, that would kind of defeat the purpose... on the other hand, life is short so what-evs! ;)
I really want to know: what are your tips to stick to certain goals and achieving them? And more importantly: what are your New Years Resolutions for this exciting time called 2019?
Share them with me :)
xx Janine