When the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s, it marks the beginning of new resolutions for many of us. We make promises to ourselves to be better next year than we were in the last; this maybe means eating healthier, being more active, saving more money, or quitting smoking. Our intentions are always good when starting the new year, but unfortunately, about 80% of Americans don’t even make it through February without giving up on their resolution (Business Insider). Let’s dissect why this happens, and steps you can take to make your resolution stick this year!
Let’s start with why resolutions fail. For many of us, it’s because we decide to tackle too much at once. We want to lose weight, make more money, eat healthier, and quit smoking all at the same time, and one of these resolutions fail, so do the rest.
Another reason resolutions fail is because we too quickly admit defeat. If exercising 3 times a week is your goal and you only get to the gym once during a particularly busy week, it can be really easy to decide you can’t hit your goal and stop trying altogether. In other words, one failure = total failure.
Instead of falling into these traps and giving up on your good intentions, follow these three tips to make your resolution stick this year:
Pick a resolution that you actually believe you can keep – according to the APA, “By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life”. You should also set a reasonable timeline for accomplishing it. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, set a healthy and reasonable pace for the weight loss instead of expecting all the weight to fall off in one month.
Set Up a Support System
It’s always easier to get something done when you have a group of people holding you accountable. Especially when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, a lot of people are trying to make positive changes at the same time, so take advantage of that! Start a walking group with coworkers or get your spouse involved in your healthy activities.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Instead of beating yourself up for each minor slip-up, show yourself the same compassion you would show a friend and get right back on track. Research shows that “it takes 66 days to completely break an old habit…”, so allow yourself at least that long to get comfortable in your new, healthy habit (Entrepreneur).
With these tips in mind, we hope this is the year when you make your resolutions stick!