How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution
Posted January 1, 2021
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution
Wondering how to keep your New Year’s resolution? You’re not alone. People around the world make New Year’s resolutions each year, but most fall off the wagon within a month. Yet, year after year, almost half of the US makes a resolution for the upcoming year.
Having a New Year’s resolution may sound cliche, but studies have shown that having a resolution can make people up to 10 times more likely to meet a goal they have set. Whether your goal is to lose weight, run a 5K, eat healthier, or just to floss – we’re here with everything you need to know to make a resolution and stick to it.
The New Year feels like a fresh slate and an opportunity to start clean. Realistically, however, it’s just another day! So make sure you don’t aim for goals that are unachievable, overly complex, or too ambitious. Choosing a goal that is unattainable sets you up for failure from the start.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your resolution is built using the SMART standard. SMART goals are – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. If your New Year’s resolution follows those guidelines, you’re on your way to success.
Examples of SMART goals could include:
- Workout for 30 minutes 3-4 times per week
- Reduce calorie intake by 10%
- Brush & floss teeth twice per day, every day
- Learn how to play tennis by July
- Drink at least 8 cups of water every day
Choosing goals you can’t control, such as losing 15 pounds, can lead to feelings of failure, as you can’t actually control how much weight your body loses. By picking a goal that you control completely, you’re setting yourself up for success and feelings of accomplishment as you continue to meet your goal day-by-day.
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Take Your Time
Don’t pick your New Year’s resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you’re serious about setting a goal for the upcoming year, you should put in some time to plan for success.
Make sure to list out things you’ll need to do in order to accomplish your goal as well as any preparation you need to take care of before you get started. It may also help to write down the reason you’ve picked this goal and reference your reason for resolution if you lose motivation a few weeks or months in.
You should take the time to write out your plan and set yourself up to achieve your goal. Not only does this help you focus on your steps, but it is also proven that writing things down helps you remember and retain the information you’ve written so you’re less likely to have your goal slip your mind!
Take the time to celebrate your victories! Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage yourself to continue towards your goals. Studies have shown that incentives can be majorly helpful in motivating people to accomplish goals – even if they’re incentives you give yourself.
Put simply – by deliberately commemorating your achievements, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that what you’re doing is good, and therefore, you’re likely to do more of it.
Of course, you should make sure that your rewards aren’t in conflict with your goals. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, you probably shouldn’t reward yourself with an ice cream sundae – at least not too often!
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reward yourself for making steps in your New Year’s resolution without going overboard – grab a coffee, see a new movie, take a spa trip – the potential is limitless.
Find a Support System
Support has always been vital to succeeding in your goals, and luckily, it’s never been easier to find! The most reliable support system is friends and family who can help you stay on track with your goals.
However, those systems aren’t available to everyone. If you’re looking for an alternative support system, consider joining a social media group, forum, or app that is dedicated to either goal achievement in general or to your specific resolution.
The options for digital support systems are practically limitless, so get out there and see which method of support works best for you!
Try, Try, Try Again
A small defeat doesn’t mean you’ve failed to keep your New Year’s resolution. Did you mess up and indulge in a pizza when you’re supposed to be cutting out junk food? That’s okay – try again tomorrow!
46% of people attempting resolutions give up because they mess up once on their goal. Research shows, however, that approximately 70% of those who jump back on the wagon will go on to stick with their resolution for at least 6 more months.
That means that if you can bring yourself back from a small defeat, you’re likely to recover and stay on course to accomplish your goal.
The Long & Short of New Year’s Resolutions
If you follow the provided tips, you’re well on your way to succeeding in keeping your New Year’s resolution. Remember, around half of New Year’s resolution takers will fall off the wagon by mid-January, so make sure you’re not one of them.
With proper preparation and determination, you’ll be able to use your New Year’s resolution to springboard to a better you in the New Year!
And if your goals are physical health-related, be sure to check in with your physical therapist as you go. He or she can provide insight and exercises into your resolution to keep you on track for success well into the New Year.