Want to stick with your 2024 resolutions? Here’s 2 simple tips, 1 major ‘don’t’

On this first day of 2024, many people have a long list of New Year’s resolutions to achieve. But some of those goals are stalled from Day One, according to one CEO and author.

That’s because most people focus on a lofty goal instead of their progress, according to Gerald J. Leonard, a successful CEO and author of ‘A Symphony of Choices: How Mentorship Taught a Manager Decision-Making, Project Management, and Workplace Engagement – and Saved a Concert Season.’

“Our brains are naturally designed to focus on the negative,” he told WTOP. “You’re looking for all of the things that can go wrong around you.”

That includes resolutions that haven’t worked out in the past, according to Leonard, who offered a couple of dos, and one major don’t to successfully achieve goals in 2024.

Don’t go for large, lofty resolutions, Leonard said. Instead, take an inventory of bite-sized milestones, commit to them and celebrate the small-scale wins.

“Don’t say ‘I’m going to lose 20 or 30 pounds,’” he said. “Say, ‘In the first month, I’m going to lose two pounds.’ Because if you do that every month, that’s 24 pounds in a year. And then, track that.”

Keeping resolutions is tough. According to a University of Scranton survey, only about 8% of people keep their resolutions, with many goals fizzled out by February.

The top resolution for 2024 is to save more money, followed by exercising more and eating healthier.

Leonard suggests doing two things to stay on track: writing goals down every day to stay focused, and getting a mentor or coach to aid progress.

“Writing out your goals programs your brain to focus and see all of the things (you) want,” he said. “And when I also have someone telling me exactly what to do, and what habits to achieve my goals, it puts you on an HOV lane for achieving your goals. It propels your progress.”

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Gigi Barnett

Gigi Barnett is an anchor at WTOP. She has worked in the media for more than 20 years. Before joining WTOP, she was an anchor at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, and a staff reporter at The Miami Herald. She’s a Navy wife and mom of three.

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