7 Promises To Make To Yourself This January That You'll Actually Stick To

The first month of the year can be described in one word: Refresh. After the chaos of the holidays and watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve, it just feels right to recharge and focus on the new. It feels right to clean up all the glitter and Polaroids on the floor, leftover from your party, and write down some resolutions — things that you want to do, change, or experience and soon. The second your pen leaves the notebook paper, though, you think to yourself, "Well, I hope I can stick to these!" Not everybody ditches their resolutions, including you. But, there are some promises to make to yourself this January that you'll definitely stick to. Challenge? Accepted.

Truth is, I like taking my goals and resolutions month by month. I find that, for me, it's a lot easier to break down my dreams into smaller steps and achieve a little at a time. Instead of writing down, "workout more this year," I try to be more specific and say, "go to at least three spin classes this month." Those kinds of goals feel much more attainable and practical — you know?

Now, everybody's different and you might find a system that works much better for you. You might love making long-term goals and seeing how they play out as the year goes on. But, these seven promises to make to yourself this January will keep you inspired and motivated to stick to your goals.

1. Be More Unapologetic

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This January, make a promise to yourself that you're going to be more unapologetic — that you're going to be more open about your thoughts and opinions, and own who you are. So often, you may use the word "sorry" when you really don't have to, and it's time to work toward that change.

Start by changing your mindset and surrounding yourself with understanding people. Find friends who give you the time and space to be you, and encourage you to be honest, loving, and bold. Then, realize that it's OK to respectfully share what's on your mind and create some conversation.

2. Wake Up A Little Earlier

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One of the things I struggle with the most during the month of January is getting out of bed. In the longest days of the year, I just want nothing more than to stay snuggled up and hit snooze. But, this year, I'm promising myself that I'll wake up a little earlier — even if it's just five or 10 minutes before my alarms — and you should, too.

Seize the day and the daylight that you're given, and don't waste an entire weekend laying around in bed. Make elaborate breakfasts, explore, and check things off your to-do list. Sure, having lazy days can be therapeutic and much-needed at times. But, waking up with the sun can be really rewarding in the long-run.

3. Find Time For The Outdoors

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Along with waking up a little earlier, you should find time to get outside during the month of January. You should promise yourself that you'll call up a friend to go hiking, ice skating, or take a walk around the reservoir at least once a week. Consider going on a dreamy winter road trip or escaping to the mountains for a few days of skiing and snowboarding, too.

Truth is, fresh air can do wonders for your energy levels and your mood. I always feel a lot more inspired and motviated to tackle my to-do list or stick to my goals after being in the outdoors. It's time that you found that same sort of bliss.

4. Don't Make Excuses For Yourself Or Others

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Right now, you may be coming up with endless reasons why something can't happen instead of facing the fact that it can. You're dodging tough conversations with your best friend, or making big moves to the West Coast or your dream job. And I just have to ask one question: Why?

Sure, these things can feel big and overwhelming at times —that's OK and very normal. But, they're not impossible and can help you create a life that you love.

This month, promise yourself that you'll stop making excuses for yourself and others, and start taking steps toward the future. Embrace the beauty in change, failure, and success, and ask yourself a better question: Why not?

5. Get Organized At Home

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You've heard of spring cleaning. But, getting organized at home this January is way better, if you ask me. For one, you're already spending more time inside because it's the season to be freezin'. Why not make the most of that time to tackle the messes and junk drawers that have been on your to-do list since, well forever.

Go through your closet, dust your shelves, and maybe even rearrange your room. By doing so, you're creating more space for opportunity and the new that's going to enter your life this year. And if you need a little inspiration, put on Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. I would highly recommend it!

6. Change Your Mindset On Social Media

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This January, change your mindset on social media. I don't mean that you should delete the apps off your phone, or archive every single one of your posts. No, I mean that you should consciously remind yourself of its purpose and place in your life.

Especially after the holidays, when you're looking to hit that virtual "refresh" button and reach new goals, it's important to remember that social media is often the filtered version of life. Don't doubt your own levels of success or happiness based on what you're seeing online, and forget about where you're "supposed to be" in life.

Girl, you're living on your own terms and working toward your own dreams and goals — and that's a beautiful thing.

7. Create Attainable Goals For The Year

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Last but not least, promise yourself this January that you'll write down attainable goals for the year. These are somewhat specific phrases that challenge you and create good change in your life, such as: "plan and go on one trip" or "read one book every month." You'll feel more focused and inspired if you do.

Now, if a year sounds like too long, create goals for only February. Break down your long-term hopes and dreams into smaller steps, and then continue with each and every month.

Truth is, it's easier to stick to promises and goals when you're realistic about how jam-packed life can get — with activities, coffee dates, and everything in between. Instead of ditching your notebook and promises all together, write down what you can do, and watch yourself bloom from one January to the next.