6 Tips for Keeping New Year Resolutions

When I bought my house seven years ago, one of the most appealing features for me was this outbuilding, referred to in the property listing as “The Artist’s Studio.” A 20’ x 30’ structure with high windows and charming rafters, the space would be perfect for crafting, DIY projects and maybe even a small photography studio. I was sold.

Over the years, I’ve picked up some of the pieces I’d need to make this happen: Secondhand countertops, some shelving, even a stove for cooking, candlemaking or soapmaking. And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Instead of a chic workspace, the Artist’s Studio has become a disorganized storage space and occasional henhouse for raising baby chicks. Useful in its way, but a far cry from the site for creativity and accomplishment I envisioned.

That’s all about to change. I’ve made it my New Year resolution.

New Year resolutions are tricky business. Hopped up on candy and eggnog during the holiday season, confidence is high and the idea of making a fresh start in the coming year seems easily accomplished. That feeling may even last for the first few days of January, but for many of us, it fades all too quickly.

Keeping a resolution is like any other DIY project. It all starts with a plan. Whether the goal is weight loss, a new job, or a snappy Artist’s Studio in which to craft, the first move is to step beyond the wish and find a strategy for making it happen. Here’s how to get started.

Be realistic. Lofty aspirations are a good thing, but finding a resolution that is within reach and (more importantly) within your control makes it easier to stay on track.

Set goals. Step beyond the concept and visualize the tangible results. In my case, it’s nice to think about a great workspace, but what does that mean? What are the elements that will signify accomplishment?

Set smaller goals. Most resolutions can’t be accomplished with one great act. Plot the steps necessary to achieve the larger goal.

Keep a calendar. Plan projects to keep things on track and set specific deadlines. If it’s difficult to stay on schedule, reassess the timeline and make adjustments. The year is just getting started.

Get help. It’s easy to think of keeping a resolution as a solitary task, but having someone on hand to keep you on track or meeting a deadline will ease the self-imposed stress of finding success.

Don’t give up. We all stumble. Missing deadlines or facing setbacks doesn’t mean waiting until another new year rolls around before starting again. Meeting your goals can be challenging, but the results are worth the effort. Plan ahead and stay strong. They don’t call ‘em resolutions for nothing.

One Response

  1. Katthy 22 says:

    I agree. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You have already made New Year Resolutions. Start with doable things. So that you have a sense of achievement, get something done and can then set higher goals. Reward yourself for every goal achieved. Set timelines and stick to those timelines. You will get more organised and will be able to smile this time next year.

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About Mick Telkamp 

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A former Midwesterner living in North Carolina, I write about my adventures in backyard chicken-keeping and suburban homesteading over at HGTVGardens, and my exploits in the culture of Southern cooking ...

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