How to Stick to your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions


Graphic by Kate Van Etten

Writing your goals down is a great way to keep up with them.

Nandi Smith, feature writer


2020 was a year unlike any other. The world was hit by a pandemic that brought the lives of many to a halt. Quarantine was a period of time that some saw as an opportunity to start working toward their goals like getting in shape or picking up a skill they always knew they had an interest in. 

Others were taken out of their element having to be at home all the time and let go of their outside lifestyle. This could have led to weight gain, depression and stunted progress on many goals. No matter where one falls on the pendulum, one thing is for certain: everyone learned a little more about themselves. 

We all were allowed to sit with ourselves and reflect. What am I good at? What am I not good at?  What makes me feel good about myself? What are things that make me insecure? What are habits I need to pick up or leave behind? Regardless of what you learned about yourself, it’s needless to say that we have all stepped into 2021 with so much that we want to see improve ourselves and our lives.

This new year is no different than many others in the regard that we’re all walking into the year with many goals, however, 2021 can be different in how we see our hopes, wants and dreams into fruition. According to “Studies have shown that less than 25 percent of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8 percent accomplish them.” This year can be different though. This year we can all accomplish our goals big or small we just have to be practical about how we are gonna go about it.

General tips and tricks:

First and foremost we can think big, but we have to move in small steps. Part of the reason so many of our goals go unaccomplished is because the second clock strikes midnight, BOOM we want to start working out five days a week, reading every morning and night, get straight As, start eating healthier, managing our money better and having healthier relationships overnight.  We’re all so eager to fix our lives, but we pile on too much too soon.

To make your goals stick, plan for them ahead of time. Get the books you want to read, a journal, plan a schedule for working out, start cutting back on junk food, buy the things for the new skill or hobby. You want to ease your way into your new habits and have what you need ahead of time so that you can start getting into a reasonable flow.

Another thing to consider is starting your goals slowly and building on them. We all know you can’t start working out and move straight to heavy lifting. That idea applies to everything. For all your goals you should slowly pile them on. 


Working out: Shoot for three days a week for two weeks then if that’s successful add a fourth day and try that for another two weeks. Say if you don’t stick to it that week, there’s no need to beat yourself up about it, you can just add another week to continue with four days and when you’re ready add on five.

Reading: Try a period of just making yourself read five pages a day, and set that as your bare minimum of reading. Then when you’re comfortable with the five up it to 10 then 15 and see where it goes from there. 

Journaling: If you’re a beginner and writing your thoughts or feelings is harder for you, or you just need help thinking of what to put on the page it might be better to purchase a guided journal. The books will lay out a day or journaling for you with questions like “What are you grateful for today” and “ What would you like to accomplish this week?”. Some even have questions for both day and night that will require at most 15 minutes of your day. 

Here are some recommended books: Any 52-week guide, “True You: A Self Discovery Journal of Prompts and Exercises to Inspire Reflection and Growth”, and “Becoming: A guided Journals for Discovering Your Voice by Michelle Obama.”

Better grades: Start doing your homework either as soon as you get it or as soon as you get home. For many people, the issue is procrastinating. However, if you start in class or right after school you can push through, get it done early and not have to worry about it. Getting things done early also gives you more time to realize what you need help with ahead of time so you can go to tutoring or ask questions to get clarification before a test. 

Making these resolutions is about more than just goals, and incorporating them into your lifestyle is not going to be easy. There will be many days you lack motivation or feel like you’re not coming along as fast as you would like. Other things will happen in your life that might distract you causing you to miss a day or two. 

None of that matters though you just have to dust yourself off and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. When it’s all said in done, making these resolutions a part of who you are will be fulfilling. You will be proud of yourself for accomplishing a goal and for what you learned in the process. Good luck on your journey!