Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
The Importance of New Year’s Resolutions
Welcoming in the New Year for most people means creating a New Year’s resolution. Starting from scratch at the beginning of the year offers a fresh start and a clean slate, and most people take this opportunity to create a resolution. Many seize the chance to set a new goal as an attempt to get rid of a bad habit or begin a healthier lifestyle, such as quitting smoking or losing weight. Although the original goal and thought behind setting their resolution is good, typically by mid-January about 50% of all those “New Year Resolutioners” will have already given up. They leave their resolutions to fall to the wayside and out of all the people who had made a resolution, only 8% will actually accomplish them. So how can we ensure we will keep our resolutions, and follow them through until completion?
The secret to reaching any goal you set is to turn it into a habit first. Always make sure the habit you choose is small enough to be achievable.
- Resolution: Quit smoking vs. Habit: Only stop smoking that 1 cigarette you have every morning after breakfast
- Resolution: Eat healthy food vs. Habit: Start substituting that 1 daily morning pastry for an apple
- Resolution: Lose weight vs. Habit: Go for a quick run or walk around the block every evening after work.
- Resolution: Manage stress vs. Habit: Take a few minutes every morning after you wake up to meditate.
One key thing to remember when making and keeping a resolution is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. They take time, remember that it’s not a sprint but a marathon. By following these simple steps below, you can be sure to get on the right track to keeping to your resolutions:
Make resolutions that you can keep. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, start by going to the gym 3 days a week (at first).
Write it down
Write your resolutions down in a place where you can remind yourself daily of your intentions.
Make changes to your behavior
Not seeing the results you were hoping for? Try changing up your routine. If you are doing the same thing over and over again and not seeing a change, it’s time to modify your behavior.
Define SMART goals
Use the SMART acronym when you are setting goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific. If your goal is to lose weight, what specifically are you going to do so that you can measure and track your progress over a specific time frame? Maybe take up walking and eat healthier to lose 10 pounds by June. Setting SMART goals can be the difference between failure and achievement.
Track your progress
Use a calendar or technology to track your goals and progress. Self- monitoring is an important concept in keeping your resolutions, so you can look back and see where you came from and the changes you have made.
Reward small achievements
Whether you are losing weight, or on track to saving more money, it is important to recognize the small accomplishments and do something nice for yourself. This will get you excited about your overall goal and help keep you focused.
Make it public
Let your friends and family know about your resolution and goals. It will help keep you accountable and on track. You are less likely to fail if you have a support system around you.
You are human
It’s ok if you slip up, just make sure you get back on track and keep heading toward your goal. If you see it as a learning experience it well help strengthen you and your resolution and make it that much more fulfilling when you finally reach it.
Wanting to make a resolution is a good thing and highly encouraged. It gives people something to look forward to and keep working towards. Even if they aren’t followed through completely, making a resolution shows that you have the belief and hope in your ability to change habits and become a better you.
For more help or information on setting New Year’s Resolutions, see the resources below.