How to Not Fail at New Year’s Resolutions

Ah, resolutions. We meet again.

Three days into the new year and I think I’m doing better than expected. Granted, I’ve had a pretty good start to the year – I got a job two weeks after graduating, I’m (almost) unpacked from moving out of my apartment, and my candle collection is seasonally coordinated. I know I’m high on the renewed energy of the fresh start, but I need something to keep myself in gear for the rest of the year.

DSC_0005Enter: my bullet journal.

I’m going to do a separate post on my planner set up since I don’t use my bullet journal for everything – I really do love my day-by-day planner for scheduling. But since I’ve had it, my bullet journal has proved to be helpful for everything that doesn’t fit in my usual planner.


In the front, I’ve created pages for my goals, priorities, and habits that I want to create. Then I created a habit tracker for the month of January and I intend to make a fresh one for each new month, adjusting the habits as I go. I’m sure a habit tracker isn’t a revolutionary concept, but I really think it’s worth trying out if you’re someone that has a lot of goals but you’re not the best at following through with them.


The new year is a great time for motivation. Motivation is what makes us excited to do new things. But motivation inevitably wanes. People fall off of their resolutions because they lose motivation. Fair enough: it takes a lot of energy to keep motivation up. Making yourself excited to wake up early or drink a green juice every day? That’s a lot. What’s integral to reaching goals is to turn motivation into discipline. Discipline is the ingrained habit that keeps us doing things long after motivation has waned. You get up early because it’s what you do, not necessarily because you want to.

This is where I find the habit tracker to be so helpful. I’m making it an objective to fill in every box every day, rather than just see what I happen to get around to. I’m disappointed if I don’t get to filling in a box, but it renews a spark in me to achieve it the next day. You don’t have to use a habit tracker, but I think some kind of incentive is helpful to those who aren’t as skilled at flexing their disciplinary muscles (tbh, me with most things). Monetary incentives, rewards, filling a jar with jelly beans and getting to eat it all when you fill the jar – whatever gets you out of bed in the morning (quite literally, if that’s your goal).


The last thing I want is to look back on my year and feel like I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to. And sure, it’s cliched to go gung-ho on your resolutions, but there’s never a bad time to set some goals for yourself. And for everyone to do it at once? It may even keep the motivation going a little longer.

And I swear, this is the year that I learn Italian.

Let me know your resolutions in the comments and we’ll keep each other going!

One thought on “How to Not Fail at New Year’s Resolutions

  1. I like to have what I call achievement resolutions which are quantifiable and can be completed in one go as a way of motivating myself to work my more long-term and qualitative goals. There also needs to be precedent or a foundational basis for why I believe I could accomplish these objectives in 2018. A few of my resolutions are: trying a new skin treatment to improve my eczema symptoms, getting a haircut, getting a master’s degree, travelling to another state or country for vacation, and riding in a hot air balloon. Best of luck on learning Italian! Do you use apps like Anki and Duolingo to practice?


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