3 Effective Ways to Stick to Those New Year Resolutions
The end of 2019 doesn’t just mean the end of the year; it’s the end of an entire decade. As we shift gears into the new year, many of us have our hearts set on New Year’s resolutions and being better versions of ourselves. But as we embark on the journey to self-transformation, we’re often faced with obstacles that prevent us from fully committing to the resolutions we’ve set.
While our intentions are often pure, work gets demanding, family and social life pull us in multiple directions, and after a while we get lazy. If you fall into this category, don’t beat yourself up. A study conducted by the University of Scranton shows only about 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions successfully achieve their goals. I know, that 8% isn’t really encouraging but it can be.
The Personality and Social Psychology shows that about 55 percent of New Year’s resolutions are health-related, such as exercising more, eating healthier, and getting out of financial debt. As ambitious as these goals are, why does it come increasingly challenging to achieve them as the year progresses? It turns out, setting unrealistic expectations is the biggest reason for failed resolutions. We’ve put together a shortlist to help guide you in keeping those resolutions alive all year long.
Go After Goals in Moderation
“I want to be debt-free in six months.” “I want to lose 50 pounds in 30 days.” While these are great goals, trying to achieve such broad goals in a short amount of time can lead to you feeling overwhelmed. Well, how to set realistic goals without feeling overwhelmed too soon? Do things in moderation by setting small, realistic timeframes for your goals. My favorite routine for accomplishing goals is the 2-month challenge.
The University College London conducted a study that examined the habits of 96 people over 12 weeks. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt. On average, it took most of the participants roughly 66 days to form a new habit and stick to it.
If you can commit to a new fitness routine or diet for two months straight, your chances of achieving long-term weightless or new dietary goals are higher. The same applies to financial planning. Try committing to a strict budget for two months straight. Your daily budgeting will result in money being saved, and essentially, any money saved can be used toward outstanding financial debts. When you break your larger goals into smaller, more attainable timelines, they’re easier to achieve.
You’ve set your intentions for the new year, but as each day passes, you convince yourself that you don’t have what it takes to achieve your goals. It’s easier said than done but, accomplishing those goals requires you to be confident. The less you believe that you’re capable of accomplishing your goals, the harder it is to commit to making them happen. You have what it takes, don’t give up on yourself!
Sometimes we’re able to see the vision before it manifests, but we have no real plan to execute it. Lack of preparation can be the result of plans coming to a crashing halt sooner than you’d like for them to. Having a strategic plan on how you’ll execute your resolution(s) can be significantly impactful on them being successful in the long run. Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to save money? Do you want to work out more? Whatever your goals are, they may require lifestyle changes.
When your goals require you to make changes to your everyday life, gradual changes breed the best results. If you make significant, drastic changes all at once, there are higher chances of you getting burnt out early on. Great a goal tracker. Be vocal to others about your plans so that they’ll hold you accountable. Also, below are a few questions to help you strategically plan your New Year’s resolution goals.
- What gradual changes do I need to make in my life to achieve said goal(s)?
- How can I gradually make these changes?
- Am I willing to create a 3-week, 3-month, and 6-month action plan?
- Who can I rely on to hold me accountable and support me in my goals?
- What ways can I celebrate large and small victories as they occur?
Remember, every small victory is enough for you to celebrate. It takes time to achieve goals, things don’t happen overnight. Hang in there and don’t give up on yourself. Those new-year resolutions are possible as long as you stick to your goals and commit to being a new version of yourself daily. Happy New Year and good luck on tackling those goals.