4 Ways to Create New Year's Resolutions That Stick and Make You Better
It’s that time of year again and who doesn’t love a clean slate? Many of us welcome a new year because we get to leave the garbage behind from the previous one. We’re optimistic about a fresh start. We feel inspired to take control of the next 12 months and make things happen! Unfortunately, statistics show that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February - FEBRUARY?!?! From there, we toss our high hopes aside and wait another 48 weeks to start again. Nothing changes and we find ourselves sitting in the same old habits year after year.
If this sounds familiar, it probably has little to do with will power and more to do with the kind of resolutions that are being created. Here are four tips for crafting New Year’s Resolutions that you can actually stick to and will inspire change:
Don’t set yourself up for failure - creating impossible resolutions is a sure way to have you abandoning them by February. If you hate running, don’t say you’re going to start running 4x a week. Start small with things that pique your interest and you actually enjoy doing. If you like sweets but want to reduce your sugar reduce intake, don’t force yourself to “eliminate sugar” - instead, find ways to reduce your intake by experimenting with your macros (*cough cough, increase fats*) and play with various spices like cinnamon and cardamon to play with your taste buds. You should enjoy the journey of fulfilling your resolutions, not spend the year fighting against them.
Choose a process-driven theme - find something that you can work on a little bit every day. It may not be a concrete goal, but a character trait you’d like to nurture, like patience or choosing your words more wisely. These kind of goals are great because they don’t set you up for failure and you can experience near instant gratification.
Use a buddy system - for the last couple of years, I’ve written down my resolutions and saved them on my computer. From there, I refer to them every few months to make sure I’m on track. However, the most effective measure has been finding a friend and using a buddy system. I’ll pick a friend and over lunch or dinner, we’ll exchange our resolutions and create a loose action plan. Throughout the year, we check in and be one another’s cheerleaders . The kindness and support of a friend can be far more encouraging than the harsh criticism we often give ourselves.
Include an educational or creative endeavor - think outside the box! Yes, nutrition and exercise are important but find something different to pursue to break up the monotony of traditional resolutions. Challenge yourself to learn a language, pick up that instrument you played as a kid, or explore a new hobby. Finding new ways to think creates new neural pathways in the brain and can reduce the risk of degenerative brain diseases in the long run.
Having goals is crucial, but finding a plan to help you achieve them is 95% of the battle.
Feel free to reach out and share your New Year’s Resolutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.