With 2019 just around the corner, you can bet your bottom dollar that millions of people around world will be making big promises to themselves as they usher in the New Year.
Did you know that approximately 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February?
This is according to a report by US News, which pointed out that unless you first change your mind, don’t expect your health goals to materialise. After all, it’s not the gym or diet that will change you – it’s your mind!
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the New Year is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.
“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognising that lifestyle change is important and working towards it, one step at a time.”
That said, Neue has curated a list of tips that will help make your 2019 New Year’s resolutions stick.
#1. Set Realistic Targets
Write out your goals and corresponding action plan in weekly parts.
If you break it into bite-sized pieces, it will be less daunting and more manageable. This avoids the panic that makes you throw in the towel. People have a tendency – once they stumble – to say “forget it” and quit. But if the bigger task is broken down into pieces, then it appears more doable, and a stumble in one part also seems more easily correctable. (Source: Health Matters)
#2. Don’t Be Vague
It doesn’t do much good if your goals aren’t easy to follow. Instead of “lose some weight”, plan on losing five pounds. Instead of “volunteering more”, pick a day, a time and a programme. (Source: Mother Nature Network)
#3. Learn From Your Past
Any time you fail to make a change, consider it a step toward your goal.
Why? Because each sincere attempt represents a lesson learned. When you hit a snag, take a moment to think about what did and didn’t work.
Maybe you took on too big a challenge? If so, scale back to a less ambitious challenge, or break the big one into tinier steps.
If nailing down 30 consecutive minutes to exercise never seems to work on busy days, break that down by aiming for three 10-minute walks – one before work, one during lunch, one after work – or a 20-minute walk at lunch plus a 10-minute mix of marching, stair climbing, and jumping rope or similar activities slipped into your TV schedule. (Source: Harvard Health Publishing)
#4. Announce It On Social Media
The more you put your plan out there, the more friends and family you’ll have to help keep you accountable, says Joseph Ferrari, PhD, a psychology professor at DePaul University and author of ‘Still Procrastinating: The No-Regrets Guide to Getting It Done’.
Posting about your resolutions and progress on social media is also a good idea. You’ll get encouragement when you post about making decisions that will help you get closer to your goal – and even if no one actually calls you out on backsliding, you’ll feel less tempted to in the first place because you know there are people out there keeping tabs on your progress. (Source: Women’s Health)
#5. Take It Easy
Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. (Source: APA)
#6. Reward Yourself
Always appreciate your own effort. Nothing motivates like a reward. On your path to achieving your resolutions, make sure that you reward yourself on every small step forward which you make. You do not have to feel as though you are cheating.
Rewards are important to maintain motivation. For example, if you are maintaining a limited diet so as to lose weight, you can stick to it for a whole week and reward yourself on the weekend with a decadent dish. This will give you the motivation to continue dieting in the following week. Rewards are important in achieving your new years’ resolutions. (Source: Great Performers)
#7. Plan Ahead
There will be days when you’re going to lack motivation and times when you feel like giving up. Plan ahead for those days by writing a list of all the reasons why you should stick to your goal, despite how you feel. Reading a list of the top 10 reasons you should go to the gym today will boost your motivation when your inner critic tells you to give up.
You can also plan ahead for decreased motivation by modifying your environment. Leave your gym shoes next to the bed if you tend to use the ‘I can’t find my sneakers’ excuse to avoid running in the morning. (Source: Inc)
#8. Find A ‘Resolutions’ Buddy
Otherwise known as a gym buddy, another person with the same resolution (for example, to get in shape) can share your goal, motivate you, and hold you accountable. One study found that those who had a workout companion actually exercised more. And this principle doesn’t just apply to fitness – if your resolution is to read more, form a book club with another friend or friends to keep you on track. (Source: MSN)
#9. Play To Your Strengths
Find activities that come naturally, are enjoyable and provide value for you. This will make your resolution be more energising to carry out and feel less like a chore. Using your strengths has shown to achieve goals more effectively. (Source: Glamour)
#10. Make Room In Your Routine
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out in years, it’s important to find a workout time that works for you – and stick to it.
Many people find that waking up a half hour earlier and getting their workouts out of the way first thing in the morning is best.
Not a morning person? Throw your gym bag in the car and get your workout in right after work, before you get home and get caught up in your home life. Pretty soon it will be habit to exercise, instead of a chore you have to squeeze in. (Source: Everyday Health)
What’s On Your Mind?
The Neue team would like to wish all readers a happy and prosperous New Year!