7 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Your New Year's Resolutions

new year's resolution mistakes to avoid

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new year's resolution mistakes to avoid
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Road to Resolution

The new year is hot on the horizon, which means the time for setting resolutions has arrived. If you haven't had much luck achieving your goals in the past, you might be making some mistakes that derail your success. Here are some things to avoid as you come up with your New Year's resolutions for 2024.

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1. Setting Unrealistic Goals

New Year's resolutions are meant to help you achieve something, so you should set yourself up for success when you come up with your goal. In other words, if you've been swearing like a sailor for 20 years, your resolution should be along the lines of "cut back on swearing" or "stop saying [insert specific obscenity here]," rather than "quit cussing completely by March, never uttering an expletive beyond 'golly gee willickers' ever again."

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2. Making Too Many Resolutions

When it comes to resolutions, start small. There's no need to pile goals on yourself. Yes, the new year is a great time to come up with bars to reach, but nothing is stopping you from accomplishing one resolution by March and moving into a new one thereafter. 

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3. Taking an All-or-Nothing Approach

Setbacks should not end your journey toward your New Year's resolution. It's okay to fumble along the way, and that should not deter you from your end goal. Instead of an all-or-nothing outlook, give yourself some grace and build space for slipups.

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New Year's Resolutions

4. Being Too Vague

Be specific when setting your resolution. A resolution like "eat healthier" is more open-ended, so it provides you with less direction, making it harder to get anywhere with your goal. Instead, consider something like, "limit processed side dishes like boxed macaroni and cheese and replace them with fresh vegetables." 

Related: These New Year's Resolutions Can Save You $1,000 or More

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5. Failing To Make a Plan

If you want your New Year's resolution to go off without a hitch, make a plan. We repeat: Make a plan. If you head in blind, you are probably setting yourself up for failure instead of success. Create a realistic plan of action, outlining specific steps and milestones to shoot for.

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6. Ignoring Small Victories

Don't focus solely on outcomes. Relish in any and every small victory that comes about along the way. The positive reinforcement will give you an extra boost to keep going.

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7. Underestimating the Time Commitment

Goals are not accomplished overnight, and you shouldn't rush your resolution. If you're planning to lose 20 pounds, don't set a one-week deadline to that goal. There is no world in which that is the right move.