New Year’s resolutions are never a matter of “have to” so much as a “want to” or “willed to”.  Sometimes they’re “pressured to,” since they’re such a common topic in December and January. Whether you’re trying to figure out what your resolutions should be, you need advice on how to get there, or you just want to start 2017 off strong, a party with close friends dedicated to celebrating New Year’s resolutions can really help you to hit the ground running. Here are some tips on hosting a successful resolution kickoff party with your friends, so that all of you can feed off each other’s energies and get motivated together:

Create vision boards

Think of a vision board as a Pinterest board you can keep in your sights to remind you of what you need to be doing all year long.

If everyone brings a stack of old magazines, a foam board and their own pair of scissors, you’ll have the ingredients you need to make vision boards. Paste things that inspire you, embody what you want yourself to have this year, or even just things you think are pretty.

As wellness expert Elizabeth Rider writes, it’s important to also include things that also evoke the feelings you’ll need to bring yourself closer to your resolutions, so take that into account while choosing your images.

Elana Lynn Gross has some great ideas for 2017 vision boards, like giving each corner of your vision board its own theme.

Your vision board can include:

  • Quotes that inspire you
  • Places you want to go
  • Fitness idols
  • Role models
  • Relaxing scenery

Your vision board, your decision. Just throw in some glue sticks, good tunes, a hot cocoa bar and a fire pit. As Rider says, “The purpose of your vision board is to bring everything to life.”

Pair off into accountability buddies

An initial push is great, but motivation needs consistent renewal. If you enlist the help of a friend who can meet with you on a regular basis (1-2 times monthly) you’ll find that you’re prioritizing your micro-goals more heavily.

For example, if another person at the party has a similar goal to yours (for example, you both want to get fit in 2017) you would be a good pair and you two could be accountable to each other.

First of all, no one wants to spend a year looking another person in the eye and admitting that they haven’t done anything that they said they would do.

Secondly, it’s nice to have someone to talk over challenges with – and on the flip side, celebrate little successes! If you succeed in finally organizing your closet and you know your accountability buddy is going to buy you an ice cream sundae as a reward, it’s a double win!

It takes three months to turn change into a routine, so your accountability buddy will be great to have along for the ride especially in the early day when you’re consistently out of your comfort zone.

Your accountability buddy doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with the same goal, but it is convenient if they don’t live too far from you so you can check in regularly and encourage each other. Of course, Skype dates and phone calls can always pick up the slack.

Verbally confirm your resolutions with each other

As I mentioned, you may not know exactly what your resolutions are yet. Hearing what other people have decided to commit to may give you ideas. If you’re open to suggestions, your close friends may actually be able to suggest some great resolution ideas. The people who know us best often know things about us that we haven’t even realized about ourselves. Therefore, they may have the best insights into what we can work on.

If everyone takes turns letting the group know what their resolutions are, and pauses to bounce ideas around for anyone who’s undecided, it will cement the certainty every person needs to create actionable goals and begin to move forward.

Another benefit of saying your resolution out loud is that your friends can check you if they feel it’s unrealistic. As Dr. John Norcross, psychology professor at the University of Scranton said, “A fair number just clink the champagne glasses and confuse a resolution with a wish.”

If you really want to get fun and fancy, Brit + Co has an awesome idea for DIY Confetti Fortune Balloons. Write your resolution on a small piece of paper, roll it up, stuff it into a balloon with some confetti, and pop it with your friends at the end of the party!

Set deadlines and meeting dates

Setting deadlines for yourself can help you get an idea of how long you have to accomplish something, and what the distribution of your time and efforts will look like throughout the year.

For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, you should be 5 pounds down by June, so make an appointment with your scale. If your kickoff party crew is willing to have another meetup once a quarter, now is a good time to establish those expectations for maximum turnout.

The rest is all you! Drain the last of that champagne get ready to tackle your 2017 goals.

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