As the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops, Americans start to think about how they are going to make the new year better than the last. According to Statistic Brain, 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, 8% of those whom make New Year’s Resolutions actually succeed at making them stick.
Why is there such a high fail rate at making positive, lasting changes? Are we unrealistic? Are we truly ready for change? Do we know how to start the new habit? Is the addiction to strong? It’s actually a combo that varies depending on the individual and their goal.
However, there are some simply ways to make your New Year’s resolutions stick.
- Set SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-oriented. For example, instead of saying that you want to lose weight, aim to lose 20 pounds by 2018. This way you have a realistic goal that can be measured and tracked.
- Now that you have a goal, create an action plan. For example, how are you going to lose the weight? Are you going to exercise 3 days a week at the gym, see a dietitian regularly, or limit your sugar intake to 1 sweet a week?
- Create rewards to motivate yourself. For example, every pound that you lose, put a dollar into a jar. At the end of the year, use that to treat yourself to something you enjoy that is not going against your new SMART goal.
- Do it for you and no one else. The only way you are going to succeed is if you truly want to accomplish the task at hand. For example, don’t set out to lose 20 pounds, so men will find you more attractive, Instead, strive to make a change, so that you can be healthier and enjoy your life more.
- Don’t give up. Setbacks will happen. If you are trying to exercise 3 times a week, there will be a week when you get busy with life cannot make it. If you are watching what you eat, there will be birthdays and holidays where healthy food is not always available. Make the best of what you have, don’t get discouraged, and continue on your journey.