2018 is coming to an end more quickly than we realize. Do you remember what resolutions you made almost a year ago? How long were you able to keep them up?

I made it until about April before they went out the window. It wasn’t until a few days ago when I thought about what resolutions I might want to make for 2019, and I reflected back to the resolutions I made this past January. I couldn’t even remember most of them! While it’s not unusual for resolutions to be placed on the backburner as the year progresses, it’s definitely a nice feeling when the end of the year rolls around and you can confidently say you stuck to your yearly goals.

As we approach the last few weeks of 2018, here are a few ways to prepare to make resolutions – and stick to them:

1. Make them S.M.A.R.T.

When you set goals, whether that’s professional or personal, there are five things to keep them in mind: Make sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. A common resolution that we see all too often is “lose weight.” But that’s so vague! Instead, set a goal like this: “I want to lose ten pounds by June 1. Before then, I won’t drink any soda, I’ll exercise for thirty minutes every day and I’ll only eat out once a week.”

Setting these types of goals gives you daily expectations on how to actualize them. Plus, it gives you more specific moments to give yourself a pat on the back!

2. Talk to people about it

Some of my friends already know what plans and goals I have in mind for 2019. It’s definitely a little more stressful to have others looking at me with these plans in mind, but it’s a great way to hold me accountable. When I don’t tell anyone about my resolutions, it’s easier for myself to let things slide.

3. Write it down

Write down your goal and break it down into timely measurements. Check your progress on a regular basis. Wherever you write it down, place it somewhere you’ll see often enough to keep you thinking about it consistently. Maybe that’s on the fridge, on your nightstand or your bathroom mirror. I once had a friend create her plan on a large poster board and place it on her ceiling above her bed! Whatever works best for you, do it.

A year can go by in the blink of an eye, but in that same time, everything can change. It’s up to you to determine what you want to happen in those 12 months. And if you’re not satisfied with the process of your 2018 resolutions, that’s ok. You’ve still got a few weeks!

by: Emily Brady

Emily Brady

Emily Brady is a content writer for AFEUSA. Her education in Communication Sciences with an emphasis in journalism from Brigham Young University makes her a great fit for AFEUSA. Emily enjoys writing and often works as a freelance writer in her free time.