How to Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s already mid-February…(Don’t worry, we aren’t sure how that happened, either!)

By now, you’re either fully committed to your New Year’s resolutions or, like most people around this time of the year, you’re already forgotten about them. Don’t blame yourself! Depending on the goals that you’ve created and how busy you are, it can be easy to break your resolutions or not even start at all. 

February has been deemed the “month that New Year’s resolutions fail”. And it certainly doesn’t help that Valentine’s Day–a holiday marked with gifting sweets like chocolate and cookies to show how much you care–is right around the corner, and it can be a difficult time for people with health-related goals.

Look, we’re not saying it isn’t okay to treat yourself! After 2020, we wouldn’t blame you if you treated EVERY day as a holiday. But pushing aside your healthy resolutions for the year every time a holiday or birthday or weekend rolled around isn’t conducive to seeing the kind of change that committed you to put the idea on paper in the first place.  So, we’re here to help!

More than 50% of people make resolutions every year: to lose weight, quit smoking, work out more, save money, get a promotion, etc. Still, studies have shown

that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail — many before the end of January even rolls around.

According to Forbes, one major reason New Year’s resolutions fail is that the person making the resolution wasn’t that committed in the first place. Oftentimes people make resolutions because they feel peer pressured into doing so and whatever arbitrary goal they come up with ends up causing them more stress than not. 

If you’re one of the millions of people feeling their motivation waning, it may be time to change your resolution. When you have create (or re-establish) your resolution, ask yourself these questions: 

“Why do I care about this goal?”

“How will I know I’ve been successful by the end of the year?” 

“Why is achieving this resolution important to me?” 

Your answer to these questions will indicate how likely you are to abandon your goals altogether. People who have a strong emotional connection to their goals are 1.3-1.8 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people with weak connections. 

So let’s get emotional! By attaching your resolution to someone you love (your wife, kids, husband, family), and thinking about how your goal will benefit them, you can suppress your negative thoughts! An example: if your resolution is simply “I want to save money this year”, but you have no attainable reason for doing that, it’s a lot easier to stop trying. Alternatively, if you frame your mindset as “I want to save money this year so I can afford to put my kids through private school”, you’re going to be much more motivated as you see the fruits of your labor.

If you can’t think of any New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but you want to commit to some sort of change, here are some easy and attainable goals: 

  • Eat one healthy meal a day 
  • Do something outside once a day: sitting, breathing fresh air 
  • Prioritize self-care: baking, reading, taking a bath 
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Eat more veggies

Or, challenge yourself: 

  • Cook one new thing each week 
  • Create a cleaning schedule you can stick to
  • Read one new book a month
  • Pick up a new hobby

Creating and achieving a consistent weekly or monthly goal will help you move in the right direction so it’s easier to follow through with bigger goals you set in the future. 

Finding joy in the small things that make you happy instead of focusing on the things that you aren’t doing or haven’t accomplished is going to be key to getting through 2021 together. Give yourself credit for even completing the simplest of tasks during this crazy time. 

Whatever you choose, remember to be kind to yourself along the way.