How to Keep Your Resolutions

A couple of weeks ago, I appeared on the Ask Dr Fritz show to talk about resolutions. I’ve written up some of my ideas on how to lovingly create space within yourself for inviting and maintaining change.

Here are my top five tips on how to set better goals in the new year.

1. Know the reason behind your goals or changes.

If you know why you want to make certain changes, you are more likely to follow through. Look deeply within yourself to separate out your own authentic desires from the desires and actions of others. Know what is important to you, you relationships, your spiritual growth, and know the reason behind the goal.

2. Set small, detailed goals.

For instance, “I’m going to sign up for the 10:30am spin class tomorrow morning,” instead of, “I need to start going to spin class.” Setting a specific time and place helps you figure out how you are going to achieve your goal.

3. Set boundaries.

I talk about boundaries all the time. You need to be clear about what you can and cannot do in order to release space for yourself. This is true for personal time, work, and relationship time. Say ‘No’ to things that feel like they require a lot of effort from you, and leave you feeling resentful. And say ‘Yes’ to things you want to achieve, that lead you towards a positive goal. For instance, say ‘Yes’ to spending time with family, and say ‘No’ to things that can wait like shopping or running errands. Especially during the holidays, sometimes a game of scrabble around the table is more rewarding than a perfectly laid table and full decorations.

4. Take the time to enjoy the good things that happened.

In our pursuit of being better, smarter, fitter, we forget the blessings we do have in our lives. Take a moment to actively summon the memory of a good thing that happened, and savor it for a few seconds.

5. Small, consistent steps.

Make your goals achievable, and be consistent. For instance, if you want to build a website or write a book, set aside an hour or two to work on it every Saturday. By the end of the year, you will have accumulated about a hundred hours of work on your project — and perhaps you’ll be onto a new project, or reaping the rewards in another, unexpected, way.

Making changes is a tough process. Forgive yourself if you slip back, because it is a momentary slip, and it does not define you as a person. Notice how your general momentum is forward, and allow yourself the kindness to move ahead in a positive way.

Sanaa Hyder is a psychotherapist practicing in NYC. To learn more about her, visit