How to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions
How to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions. Happy New Year! If you’ve started 2020 with a list of resolutions for the year ahead, you’re not alone. According to research, around 60% of us make resolutions at the start of the year – but only around 8% of us manage to stick to them. The most popular resolutions are to do with diet and exercise, with saving money, taking up a new hobby and quitting smoking not far behind. It’s great to start the New Year as you mean to go on, but how do you make sure you’re one of the 8% who manage to turn their resolutions into a more deeply ingrained habit? Here are six top tips.
1. Don’t try to do too much
Sticking to one resolution can be enough of a challenge, so don’t bombard yourself with a long list of changes and feel guilty because you can’t manage to stick to them all. Think carefully about what you most want to achieve this year, and focus on that.
2. Think about why
Jot down some reasons why you want to achieve this goal. Having a great reason raises your motivation to succeed compared with just arbitrarily listing resolutions because it’s what everyone around you is doing.
3. Try to make your resolutions positive rather than negative
Where possible, make positive resolutions or intentions rather than vowing to give things up. It can be difficult to summon up the motivation to stick to a resolution that’s about depriving yourself of something – particularly in January, the coldest and bleakest month of the year. So, rather than swearing to give up chocolate, why not make your resolution about making sure you get your five a day?
4. Break big resolutions into manageable steps
Big resolutions such as “get fit” or “lose weight” can seem an insurmountable challenge, but not when you break them down into small, manageable steps that can be easily achieved individually. For example, if your goal is to be able to complete a marathon and you’ve never even run before, break it down into a mile at a time, building the distance up gradually.
5. Don’t do it alone
You don’t have to struggle along on your own. Talk to your family and friends about what you’re hoping to achieve, as they’ll be able to provide moral support as well as a bit of accountability. You could also investigate local or online groups so that you can compare your progress with others, or commit to a structured programme to help you stick to your goal – such as signing up for Couch to 5K, which gives you a series of exercise tasks to tick off and podcasts to follow each week.
6. Measure your progress
Breaking resolutions into smaller steps will also make it easier to measure your progress. Whatever your goal, keep track of how it’s going – whether that’s recording your weight at the end of each week or downloading a fitness app like Strava to record your exercise achievements. You might only have been able to run half a mile at the beginning of January, but by the end of the month that might seem small compared with what you can run now. Looking back on what you’ve already achieved is a great way of spurring yourself on to achieve bigger and better things. Good luck!