5 Easy Tips To Make New Year's Resolutions Last (2020 Edition)
5 Easy Tips To Make New Year's Resolutions Last
Happy New Year to you and yours! It's a new year and that means it's a new you! Many people will stall goals until Jan 1st. Well, it is here! An important notion to keep in mind is that resolutions aren’t just for January 1st, they are meant to instill a desire to change aspects of one’s life for the better and allows for growth.
A new calendar year marks the time for new beginnings and new resolutions. These New Year’s resolutions are most often times based on improving a part of our lives and can fall under categories like, weight management, career aspirations, eating healthier, more self-care and financial goals. However, for a lot of us, these goals are set, changes are made and after a few weeks old habits are resumed. Returning to old habits does not mean that you don’t have discipline or motivation to keep at your goals. It is simply that change is HARD! We all have our routines and habits. Getting out of these old routines can be challenging. Now, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to make changes. It simply means that changes can be made with the RIGHT APPROACH.
We can all write 20 things down in our notebook that we want to improve this upcoming year but what does it take to create resolutions that actually stick? It is estimated that about 10% of us actually keep our New Year's Resolutions and most of us will give up on our goals before February.
The main reason why New Year’s Resolutions fail is either too many changes are implemented at once or the resolutions are just too massive of a change. Sometimes it's the type of resolutions that can easily set you up for failure.
Research shows that committing to small, simple, and sustainable health changes over time is what leads us to achieve and maintain our health goals. Changes made consistently over longer periods of time have a larger impact than massive changes made all at once but only lasts 1-2 months (which is most new year's resolutions).
So for 2020 take your time to decide on your New Year's Resolutions so they are both sustainable and achievable. Keep reading to learn 5 easy tips to create long lasting change so you are successful in 2020.
5 Easy Tips To Keep With Your New Year’s Resolutions
1. Tackle Resolutions One At A Time
Too many changes at once can be very overwhelming and frustrating. If you have more than one resolution make a list and attack them one at a time.
Tackling behaviour changes one at a time can feel less daunting and more motivating to hit that one change. Once you have successfully accomplished this one goal you can move on to the next one on your list. It allows you to give your all into each resolution and provide quality time to making it stick.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Research shows that committing to small, simple and realistic goals over time is what leads us to maintain our health goals in the long term.
2. Clearly Define Your Goal
Determine how exactly you will implement your resolutions into your daily life. If you know that more physical activity will benefit your cardiovascular system and so your resolution is “increase physical activity” or “eat healthy”, that is amazing! But, you need to make this goal more exact and less vague. The goal should be able to fit the following criteria (SMART):
• Specific - You need to be exact on how you wish to be more active. Define how many times you are going to be active during the week and what this activity will be. Is it walking? Is it going to the gym? Is it going on the treadmill at home? Being specific takes less brain power to figure out what you have to do when the time comes around. If you have the specifics laid out ahead of time, it's easier to make it second nature.
• Measurable - You goal needs to be measurable so that it is easily quantifiable. For example, if you decide on walking more then decide how long will you walk for. Maybe it's 20 mins a day 5x a week to start off with.
• Achievable - Make sure your goals are realistic for you and your schedule. For example, if walking 5x a week doesn’t align with your work schedule then set it to 2-3x a week.
• Realistic - Is this type of activity realistic for you? An example would be if walking 30 mins a day outside is your goal, is this realistic living in Canada? Maybe changing it to walking on the treadmill in winter months is more realistic living in Canada or any other colder country.
• Timely - Set a realistic time frame with which you want to achieve your goal by. For example, if your goal is to hit 30 mins of walking 5-6x a week, is reaching this goal in 2 weeks fair? It takes time to reach goals so just be patient with yourself.
You can even go a step further and add these walks and times to your calendar. Lay out a plan in terms of timings and days. This will hold you accountable.
3. Write Your Goals Down
Writing goals down can make them feel more tangible. Try including pictures, diagrams and drawings to make it even more real. Vividly writing your goals is strongly associated with goal success. Writing it down can help to access and review it any time.
If 3 weeks down the line you are feeling demotivated, take out that piece of paper. The detailed description of your goal may be just what you need to stay on track! Also, writing things down means there is a higher chance you will remember!
4. Make It Meaningful
It is important to make sure your new year's resolutions or goals align with your personality. The goals you choose to make your New Year's resolutions needs to hold personal value so make sure it 100% resonates with you.
If you are unable to find meaning in your goals and it holds little value to who you are as a person it makes it very hard to stick to them. These resolutions should be things you WANT to do not HAVE to do.
While making these resolutions you need to ask yourself why it is important to you and why it adds value to your life. Get clear with what your motivation for this new year is. Always identify the why. Knowing why you are reaching for certain goals makes it much easier to keep them not just for the year but for the lifetime ahead.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: Where did your goals come from intrinsically? Why are they important to you? In what way do they impact your life? Do your goals align with who you are?
5. Talk About It
Share your intentions with at least one person. This holds you accountable for sticking with your new year's resolutions. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes the journey a lot easier and way less intimidating.
Always remember to pause and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they are! It is important to be grateful for the journey for all that it has to offer, both the good and bad. So make sure to vocalize how the process is going. Find someone to share your struggles with and your successes - it makes it that much more real!
Above all with sharing your journey remember to always be honest. You are the only one that can hold yourself truly accountable. If you see you are falling off track, this person can help to bring you back up!
It is important to not give up and be discouraged by occasional set-backs. Downs are all part of the process of growing as a person. If you find yourself struggling, try to find new sources of encouragement and inspiration!
Remember that New Year’s resolutions can be fun, exciting, inspirational and are meant to nurture your growth. During the first few days, or even weeks you will feel pumped and highly motivated to make all the changes you desire. After a couple weeks, reality sets in and challenges and temptations come closer. This is the time where most people fall off. But this year, I want you to take the time and review your written goals. Remind yourself of why you chose these specific resolutions and keep yourself inspired! Remember, creating new habits takes time and energy. Change is a process, it does not happen overnight. Habits take time before they stick. Always keep trying, seek support and stay positive! This year stay accountable to your goals and commit to them wholeheartedly!
** Disclaimer: The advice is in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.