How to realistically achieve your New Year’s resolutions
Making New Year’s resolutions can be very appealing. Most people want a fresh start and resolutions feel like the perfect opportunity to break old habits and change for the better. However, keeping New Year’s resolutions throughout the year is not as easy.
According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of Americans are successful in achieving their resolutions. All over the world, the numbers could very well be the same. Most people fail to keep their resolutions before midyear due to a number of reasons. Most people incessantly set unrealistic goals or are easily distracted.
To make sure your resolutions do not become failed attempts, here are five realistic steps in achieving them in the New Year.
Make realistic resolutions. Realistic goals ensure you of realistic results. If your resolution is to lose 50 lbs. in one month, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Assess yourself – your capabilities, limitations, and the time you would need to achieve your goals.
Focus on one resolution. You can certainly make as many resolutions as you want but focusing on one can do you better than you think. By focusing your energies on just one resolution, you are not spreading yourself too thinly among the others. Your brain does not have to deal with too many distractions and by having a firm focus you can increase your chances of success.
Write them. Statistics demonstrate that people who write their goals have over 80% higher success rates of achieving them compared to those who do not. Through writing them down, ideas are not left in the air but are actually made into a reality. Think of it as a business or legal document where you are accountable for everything stated. This will only make you strive to work harder in achieving them. Writing them down also organizes your thoughts. Write your goals on a journal or a calendar where you can be constantly reminded of it everyday.
Replace an old habit with a new one. It is true. Habits are just difficult to break! A realistic resolution is not to quit your bad habit abruptly but finding a more concrete way to address the problem. One alternative is to replace old habits with a new one. If you are the type to eat junk food constantly, replace your potato crisps with healthier options such as wheat or soy chips. If you are a couch potato, break your sedentary lifestyle by walking outside even for just fifteen minutes every other day. Making little pleasant changes like this will not make you feel out of your comfort zone too much, but will gradually help you eliminate bad habits instead.
Measure your progress. For specific goals such as losing weight, keeping a checklist or calendar is a good way to track your progress. You can check how long you have managed to be on your diet, if you have exercised this week, how long you have exercised, and so on. Keeping a progress chart keeps you motivated because you are seeing actual results!