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Ascent Blog

6 Tips on Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick, From the Ascent Team

Jan 14, 2021 / In: Blog, For College Students, For Cosigners, For Students / By: Erica Arvanitis
How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that everything can change – including your goals. It may seem daunting to set new resolutions this year but sticking to them may help you stay motivated when things get tough.

We asked our team to share their New Year’s Resolutions and how they plan to stick to them.

 

 

Tip #1: If your resolution is to get moving…

 

How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

 

Joanna’s goal:

Get up early to work out every other weekday morning.

 

How she plans to stick to her goal:

I’m going to add a calendar reminder to my phone, set out my workout clothes the night before, and reward myself with coffee!

 

Joanna’s tips for anyone struggling to keep their resolution:

Remember that any amount of progress is worth celebrating! If you’ve fallen off track, don’t feel that you should give up. Be proud of the work you’ve done so far and recommit to your original goal.

 

 

Tip #2: If your resolution is to learn something new…

 

How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

 

Ken’s goal:

Learn something new; this is a category I have every year. Professionally, I would like to learn how to establish an education-focused non-profit that serves California residents. Personally, I want to learn to mountain bike at an intermediate level by taking at least 20 rides during the year.

 

How he plans to stick to his goal:

Find a friend! Getting someone else to partner with you on achieving the goal really helps. I will be working with my son on mountain biking.

 

Ken’s tips for anyone struggling to keep their resolution:

Small wins add up to a big win. In 2020, I had a goal of meditating at least twice a week. I now have established a pattern, but only do it for about 3 minutes at a time.  Next year my goal will be to meditate for 15 minutes by the end of the year. I can add 2 or 3 minutes every few months to reach my goal by year-end.

We all have friends that have said, “I am going to work out five days a week,” and the first week they miss five days, they regress to their previous behavior or pattern. Make SMART goals that build on past success.

 

 

Tip #3: If your resolution is to stay mindful…

 

How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

 

Erica’s goal:

For the past few years, I’ve used the meditation app Simple Habit, and for 2021, I want to make a goal of doing a 3-5-minute meditation every morning.

 

How she plans to stick to her goal:

I plan to set alerts on my phone when I wake up to remind me it’s time to meditate. I’ve also found that incorporating my goal into my morning routine helps make it a longer (and more frequently kept) practice. I’ll just add meditate to my morning ritual of walking my dog, making a cup of tea, stretching, and reading something I enjoy!

 

Erica’s tips for anyone struggling to keep their resolution:

Be kind to yourself. If you forget to meditate or workout one morning but do it the other six days of the week, you’re not a failure. You’re not behind. Celebrate the small wins; all progress is good progress and habits sometimes take time to fully form. You have to be inside your head, listening to your thoughts, all day – why not make it a more positive place?

 

 

Tip #4: If your resolution is to write it down…

 

How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

 

Dustin’s goal:

Journal daily and set goals for the day, week, and month.

 

How he plans to stick to his goal:

I have a 2021 journal to keep me accountable, and I set my plan for the day, week, and month while I have my morning coffee. The journal is the prop that helps me complete the task, and I use it throughout the day to stay on track.

 

Dustin’s tips for anyone struggling to keep their resolution:

I find that early morning is the time when I have the fewest distractions, so I try to knock out the things I want to stick to early in the morning.

I’ve also found that it’s easier for me to complete these tasks if I’m doing something I enjoy. So, I journal while I have my morning coffee, and I work out at a neighborhood park while taking our dog for her morning walk.

I also highly recommend blocking time on your calendar to complete your tasks and scheduling it for the time you’re most likely to actually finish them. If you’re not a morning person, scheduling time at lunch or before bed to complete your tasks could work.

 

 

Tip #5: If your resolution is to look good and feel good…

 

How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

 

Casey’s goal:

Focus more on my self-care (hair, skin, what I eat, workout routine, etc.)

 

How she plans to stick to her goal:

I plan to invest in products and food that will better my body/skin rather than waste money on cheap products that do little to nothing in the long run.

I finally realized that I want to take the new year to focus on myself, enhance my skincare, and my relationship with food (fewer cheat days, more quality food), etc. I’ve always cared about these things, but never really had the chance to invest in them because of the hustle and bustle of my “normal” pre-COVID routine.

 

Casey’s tips for anyone struggling to keep their resolution:

Get an accountability partner. I’ve found both at work and home, if I have someone to keep me accountable toward my goals, it’s easier for me to be mindful of those goals daily and stick with them because I know that person will ask me how things are going at some point. It’s even better if that partner has the same goal as you, and you’re in it together! Either way, the support is priceless.

 

 

Tip #6: If your resolution is to invest your money…

 

How to Make Your Resolutions and Keep Them | Ascent Funding

 

Jason’s goal:

I want to get very disciplined in my investing by not allowing myself to make any emotionally based decisions without data to back it up.

 

How he plans to stick to his goal:

Record on a calendar on my wall each time I made an investment decision that I had no data to back up, and potentially how much money that decision cost me so that I can visually see how often I stray from my goal.

 

Jason’s tips for anyone struggling to keep their resolution:

Find ways to track the number of times/severities of your deviations from your goal, as many resolutions are unlikely to have 100% compliance. This helps ensure that you continue being accountable. Displaying these deviations publicly (even if it is within your own household) can also help add additional accountability and let others know you might need a little support in reaching your goal.

 

Success is all about choosing the right goal and the process you use to go about achieving it. Whether you set reminders to get moving or find an accountability partner, try to be kind and flexible with yourself and celebrate the big – and small – wins. Remember, it’s not just the end goal that matters, it’s the journey along the way.

 

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