By Amanda Huffman
Contributing Writer

How often have you made a resolution at the beginning of a new year only to have given it up by the middle of January? Giving up on resolutions isn’t surprising. It’s really hard to form a new habit and even harder to break an old one. But have no fear — you are working toward something new for 2024, I have some tips to help you stay on track or get back on the wagon again.

Missing a day or sliding backwards is part of the process to create a new habit. It can be easy to give up if you made a goal to work out every day and you miss a couple of days. It can feel easier to just slip back into your old routine. Life gets busy and even with the best intentions things don’t go as planned. By no means is this a reason to quit. Instead of quitting, into your routine and start again.

Don’t be so hard on yourself if you make a mistake. A mistake means you are learning and it’s an opportunity to move forward. If you don’t do it right the first time the right time or even the 100th time you are still making progress towards your resolution and the person you want to be.

Starting something new or different can be challenging. Don’t quit when things get hard — keep moving forward one step at a time.

When I was writing my book, A Girl’s Guide to Military Service, I had the goal to finish an updated draft by June. I had completed several drafts and had gotten a lot of input so I was ready for a big rewrite. My goal was to write every night to get the work done. And while some nights I didn’t want to write, and on other nights life happened and I didn’t write, I didn’t let that stop me from moving forward. Those six months were hard but I got the book written and ready for a few rounds of editing before getting published.

Just because it’s hard or you want to quit doesn’t mean that you should. Everyone has challenges but it’s those who keep pushing forward who accomplish something. So, don’t quit!

Maybe your resolution is to run a marathon to help you get into shape and be healthy. However, when you start going from the couch to 5K, you might learn you hate running. Or perhaps you get injured or find out you can’t run because of some medical reason. These setbacks mean you are a failure and can’t reach your goal. Okay, so you won’t be able to run a marathon, but remember that your primary focus was getting healthy. There are a lot of other options besides running to meet your goal. Now shift your focus and find something else you can do to get your body moving that works for you and your lifestyle.

Pivoting is a part of life. There is no reason to keep pushing yourself to do something you don’t like or enjoy. Focus on why you are attempting whatever it is and see if there is another way you can complete your goal so you can adjust and keep moving forward.

Sometimes it just isn’t your year. Life happens and we can’t make big changes. This doesn’t mean you are a failure — it just means it wasn’t the right time. You can always try again. Give yourself grace. Military life is hard. Having your spouse deployed or TDY can throw a wrench in anyone’s plans, so remember to not put so much pressure on yourself. Think of what a friend would say to you to get you through the rough patch, and then repeat those words to yourself. Most likely, a friend’s words are a lot nicer and more supportive than the things you say to yourself.

I hope these tips help you if you have lost motivation to keep moving forward this year on your resolutions. Resolutions are a great way to help lead to change, but sometimes the new goal isn’t the right fit. This just means you need to try something new and give yourself grace along the way. Don’t quit just because you missed a few days or life got in the way. You can pick up your resolution and try again.

Amanda is a military Veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer who served on a combat deployment with the Army in Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career in the Space Force. Amanda is the host of the Women of the Military podcast. There she shares the stories of women who have served or are serving in the military. The podcast has over 200 episodes and over 100K downloads. Amanda is also an author and has published two books. Her first book, Women of the Military tells the stories of 28 military women who served in the military. Her second book, A Girl’s Guide to Military Serviceis the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Winner for Teen Non Fiction. It is a guide for high school girls considering military service to help them build a strong foundation for their future career. She also works as a freelance writer and has been featured in a number of military publications including The War, Military Families Magazine, Clearance Jobs, Military Spouse Magazine, and more. 

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