Struggling to Stick to New Year’s Resolutions
The new year can often start out strong when we make a lot of highly aspirational goals for ourselves, but then it’s right around the end of January and the beginning of February that we lose steam. While the end of the year is a perfect time to wind down and examine how the previous year has gone, the idea of a fresh start sometimes turns our goal making too lofty.
Sticking to your goals is important, you made these resolutions for a good reason in the first place. Often times we are trying to break bad habits or establish new routines, which can take a lot of effort up front. Part of the reason people abandon their resolutions can be because they are difficult or idealistic, but it could also be that we don’t know how to keep them. Some of the most common resolutions are losing weight, quitting smoking, sticking to a healthier diet, exercising regularly, or spending more time with family. Let’s take a closer look at some tried and true strategies to get this year’s resolutions to stick.
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution – Look at Your Approach
Figure out how to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions by examining your approach. While the data on how successful people are in keeping their resolutions varies, there is a study that goes into the difference between those who were successful and those who were not. People were more successful when they had approach-oriented goals rather than avoidance-oriented goals. This means the focus was on a different way of eating or sleeping habits, not a focus on how to avoid something. Ask yourself if there is a positive side to the goal you made this year and if you can reframe it this way so you know what you should be doing, not just what you shouldn’t be doing.
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution – Practical Steps
Here are some quick tips on how to stick to your resolution this year. Try them all or just pick a few that seem to cater to the things you don’t usually do or that you struggle with.
- Choose a specific goal. Don’t just say exercise more, but rather tell yourself how many times a week and for how long.
- Limit your resolutions. This one is important as often times we think of resolutions in the plural, but sometimes succeeding at one is more than enough and will mean a greater chance of success.
- Put time into planning. We often overlook the planning step, but if you sit down and ask yourself where you are going to fit this new habit into your schedule regularly, you’ll see how quickly it pans out. Feel free to set reminders.
- Start with small steps. Don’t start with working out 5 days a week if you were previously working out 0 days a week. Maybe start with once a week.
- Learn and Adapt. This one goes hand in hand with the step above. If working out once a week is going well then go ahead and add another day of working out into your routine. If something is too difficult then don’t be afraid to readjust and pear down the goal you had, at least for now. Listen to what you need and make the call.
- Get support. Few of us live alone or have the willpower to always do what we need to do. It could be helpful to find a friend who will do your New Year’s resolution with you or who can check in on you. This can also turn your goal into a fun activity with a friend and remove any pressure you might be feeling around it.
Stick to your 2023 New Year’s resolutions. Feel free to discuss your resolution with an in home caregiver or family member. Certified caregivers are happy to help if your goals involve any health and wellness goals. Good luck with your goals!