4 tips to making new year's resolutions stick

November 30, 2023

It's that time of year when people succumb to the “New Year, New You” mantra that has been drilled into us for generations. And while there is an anti-resolutions movement that many people are getting on board with, there isn't actually any reason for you to set or not to set New Year's Resolutions if you wish to do so either way.

So, let's say you want to make changes to your life come January 1st. Is there any harm in setting a goal that kicks in as the bell drops on New Year's Eve? Statistics suggest that the failure rate of resolutions is 80%, with most people having wholly fallen off track by mid-February. The reason for this is that people are setting goals that are sustainable and unsustainable for their lifestyles.

But if you do want to go ahead, these tips can help you to make sure you make the right changes for the right reasons.

What Do You Want To Change and Why

In the first instance, it is worth taking some time to really assess your life and what you want from it. What do you like about your life right now, about yourself, your career, and so on? From here, you can look at things you can change and put a plan in motion for this to happen. It can be the typical "lose weight and get fit" resolution; it can be to stop smoking, take up a new hobby, or literally anything. But identify the changes you want to make and a timeline to get from where you are now, where you want to be, and what the journey will look like.

Get Support

You are more likely to succeed at making long-term lifestyle changes if you have the help and support to do so. This can be from family and friends or via signing up for clubs, memberships, or private one-on-one sessions to reach your goal.

Let's say you want to change your mindset, your health, and fitness all at once; working with a coach or joining a program that aligns with your values can help you to do what you need to do, such as the Mind Body Transformation Program can not only give you the tools to make the changes but the support to ensure these changes are for the long term not the short term. Regardless of what you want to change, find a resource that can help you, be it therapy, working with a trainer, roping a friend in to help you, or joining a club that can boost your chances of success.

Don't Overcomplicate It

It can be really tempting to overhaul all areas of your life and make drastic changes at once. This will only lead to failure faster than you might expect. While it's done with all good intentions, it's highly likely that you will throw in the towel sooner rather than later. Start small, keep it simple, don't overcomplicate what you want to do, and make it work for you. 

Everyone's lifestyle is different, and you need to focus on what you can do to achieve something you can easily change. Let's say you want to get fitter. You don't need to join the gym and force yourself there every day after work. You can aim to move more each day. Go for a walk outside if you can, find a workout you enjoy from all of the content creators on YouTube, or simply put some music on and dance. Move more, then build it from there. If getting fit isn't your goal, apply this approach to the changes you are making instead, just make it simple.

Find Alternative Behaviours and Identify Triggers

Suppose your changes involve quitting something or not doing a specific action, e.g., smoking, drinking alcohol, etc. In that case, you need to identify your triggers and look for alternatives you can do instead. If your social life revolves around drinking, but you want to try being sober, then look for alternative places to meet friends, use this time to take up a new hobby, or if you join friends at a bar, for example, be mindful of how they are likely to treat you and what you can do to avoid drinking, i.e., buying your own drinks, telling the bar staff not to serve you alcohol or serve anyone else with alcohol for you or stick to bottles of water.

You can do this for anything; if you want to eat healthy, identify those times when you would physically reach for the junk food or order takeout and see what you can do to avoid this. It might mean you need to make an extra portion of food the night before so you have something to eat when you get in from work, or you need to find healthier snack alternatives to keep you satisfied; whatever you choose, identify when you're most likely to be at risk of falling into these behaviors and look at what you can do differently.

*contributed post*

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