Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
Like millions of people around the globe, perhaps you vowed this is the year to get organized. Or save money. Or lose weight. Or run that marathon. Or finally match up all those single socks in the laundry room. You’re not alone; we’ve all been inspired to make a grand pronouncement or two over the clinking of glasses on the final night of the year.
But here’s the rub: only 8% of people will actually follow through with their resolutions for the new year.
We start out with the best of intentions, but why are they so hard to keep? Whether it’s that first cold, rainy day that keeps you from your morning run or that scrumptious dessert at a dinner party that knocks you off your sugar-gluten-wheat-fat-fun diet, we can all run into roadblocks to meeting these new goals. Or maybe we start out strong, only to run out of steam when we don’t see immediate results. In fact, of the most common resolutions, the number one and two slots go to exercising more (38%) and losing weight (33%) (so much for reading more books…). So what’s a New Year’s reveler to do?
Don’t resolve to “get into better shape.” Commit to walking for 30 minutes 5 times a week. Commit to having one plant-based dinner a week. Commit to dedicating a specific time each day to meditating. In other words, commit to a measurable, achievable goal so you can start ticking the boxes of practicing a positive behavior rather than beating yourself up over an out-of-reach or nebulous goal.
- Be accountable.
Share your resolution with a buddy—even better if the buddy has the same goals! It’s easy to give up on something when no one knows you were supposed to be doing it in the first place. If you have committed to meeting a friend for a walk every morning at 7 am, you’re much more likely to get up than to hit the snooze button (again), if for no other reason than they’re expecting you. But even if the buddy has something else in mind for their new year, they can help you think through any challenges and encourage you to stay on track. As the song says, that’s what friends are for….
- Be tenacious.
You made a resolution for a reason; don’t give up! Talk through the details so you have a plan for the unpredictable (that cold, rainy morning) or temptations (that dessert!). Your ability to navigate roadblocks will instill a sense of pride, and may even provide a little juice to keep you on track. Remember, repetition strengthens new habits. The old adage that it takes 21 days to create a new habit doesn’t always hold true; new research suggests it can take up to 66 days before it becomes ingrained. Focus on achieving your new positive behavior each day. And if you miss one? Well, tomorrow is another day….
I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s. –Henry Moore
- Be realistic.
Sure, you can resolve that this is the year you finally achieve that Victoria’s Secret supermodel body…but it’s probably not going to happen (and if it does…well, then good for you!). Losing 50 pounds may seem insurmountable; losing one pound this month may not. Saving $2000 may seem unachievable; saving $20 this month may be gratifying. Hitting that HIIT class for 30 straight days may seem bonkers; making it to class 3 times a week may be spot on. As with anything, achieving our resolutions is as much of a mental game as a physical or tangible one. There’s something to be said for the satisfaction of reaching small goals, especially if they’re along the road to the big ones.
So get out there and make the most of those New Year’s resolutions–nothing’s stopping you but you! But if you need a little extra help…well, there’s an app for that.
(Oh, and if you are one of those 38% of people who have vowed to exercise more, we recommend Kombat TEK, for your gym and workout purification needs. And if not, you may want to give Skin TEK a try—because 12% of people have resolved to spend more time with family and friends….)