press enter to search

How to stick to your New Year's resolution

Pustika Rucita
Pustika Rucita

Clinical psychologist at the International Wellbeing Center, Jakarta

Jakarta | Tue, December 12, 2017 | 03:10 pm
How to stick to your New Year's resolution

The New Year is a time to reflect and rejoice. (Shutterstock/File)

Time really does fly. Soon we will be welcoming a new year.

How we celebrate the New Year may vary. Some may treat it as just another casual day, while some may treat it more special, perhaps by making specific wish or resolution.

Welcoming the New Year with a resolution can serve as the right moment to start something  great, full of energy and positivity. Speaking of which, how many New Year’s resolutions have you made in your life? How many have you successfully accomplished?

It is commonly believed that “New Year’s resolutions is about making new habits or changing existing ones”. A study in Australia in 2015  showed that the typical New Year’s resolutions are health and fitness goals, money goals, relationship goals, business and career goals, travel goals, and education goals. However, the study also found that almost 80 percent of the people usually fail in keeping their resolutions within three months. Some of us maybe even can recognize those people (or maybe ourselves?) that can give up their resolutions within days.

Read also: Pollution can undo the health benefits of walking: Study

What actually went wrong?

Why do we give up on our resolutions so soon? One of the strongest possibilities is the fact that we often make too many New Year’s resolutions and sometimes they are unrealistic.

Given the case, is there any other way that we can try to make the “effort” period of time last longer? Furthermore, is there a way to make the resolutions more achievable? Let’s try these simple steps:

Set realistic resolutions

Keep in mind that it is very important to set realistic resolutions. Do not aim for a spectacular yet unrealistic goal. Once you fail to achieve that because it is too unrealistic, you will easily lose hope and give up the resolution entirely. Instead, try to make it simple, doable and measurable.

For example, if you aim to have a more fit body, rather that setting your resolutions to “exercising twice a day, everyday”, you may want to try “exercising at least three times a week”. Sounds less daunting, right?

Be specific about your resolutions

What aspect do you want to improve? Which one is more urgent for you? Define the resolutions as clearly as possible. So then you can be more focus on what to work on.

For example, you can define your resolution as specific as “Due to my health concern, I want to be able to consume more healthy food this year. I can aim to consume brown rice only during weekdays, then I can have white rice on the weekend”.

Read also: Study explains salted caramel 'addiction'

Make a timeline

You might also want to consider on making a timeline. You can sketch specific week or month with specific tasks that needs to be done. Therefore, it will be easier for you to track your progress and review for any feedback.

Tell your trusted ones

It is OK to tell trusted people about your resolutions. Consider them your friendly reminders, the ones who can keep you motivated and remind you about your resolution progress. They can also encourage you by providing positive feedback. It is nice to have that kind of motivation right?

Self reward

Treat yourself with a self reward once you are making a progress, even smallest one. You do not have to wait until the entire resolution is achieve before getting your reward. Appreciate the process and appreciate the progress to keep you motivated.

A reward also does not have to be a materialistic one. Even as simple as give yourself a nice home cook meal or a massage can also be a consider as a reward.

Self-care is a must

What is also important is to remember to take care of yourself along the process. It is OK to take a rest and ask yourself how you are feeling and what you need. It is OK to give yourself a pat on the back before continue to make progress.

After all, what is the use of having a great resolution yet neglecting your wellness both in physical and mental health?

Read also: 10 notable novels for your holiday reading list

Be gentle with yourself

It is good if you are making progress or even better if you can already see your resolution is about to come true in the first of the months. However, it is also okay to make a mistake. It is okay to make a detour. It is okay to make a long pause before you continue. Again, appreciate the process, and even more also appreciate all the new, small details that you discover about yourself along the way.

At the end of the day, forgive yourself for whatever it is that causes discomfort and get ready to move forward the next day.

Happy New Year. May this year bring you a lots positivity and blessings. (dev/kes)


Pustika “Cita” Rucita is a clinical psychologist at the International Wellbeing Center, Jakarta. Cita studied at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, before pursuing her Master’s degree in clinical psychology at the University of Indonesia. Cita practices at the International Wellbeing Center every Saturday and Sunday and some evenings, providing counseling in English and Indonesian.

Interested in writing for We are looking for articles and opinions from experts in a variety of fields, as well as others with strong writing skills. Submit your original piece to [email protected] on the following topics: lifestyle (beauty, fashion, food), entertainment, science & technology, health, parenting, social media and sports. Click here for more information.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.