January 1st is the most popular day of the year for making commitments and planning future goals. A new year sure is an opportune time to hit the reset button, and it’s exciting to think about making positive changes... but did you know that only less than 10% of New Year resolutions last for more than one week? (1)
So what happens to our willpower that it squashes even the best of intentions we set out for ourselves? and what are the solutions? Is there any hope for the other 11 months out of the year?
Don't worry too much – here are helpful tips for you to keep in mind when planning out your future dreams and to help you stick to them and see through your New Year resolutions.
How to make realistic new year resolutions and stick to them
1. Don’t make too many resolutions or over-commit
Pick one resolution and be realistic. Ideally, you want your new commitment to feel like a stretch but still be doable. Consider what will make you feel proud of yourself versus going overboard with promises you are not likely to keep. When you overcommit you set yourself up to fail, which makes it easier to just give up and may develop issues with confidence.
2. Don’t give up on your resolution just because you break it
An 'all or nothing' mindset sets you up for self-sabotage. Rarely do we commit to change and not have a setback. If you break your resolution, forgive yourself and make a plan to reset and move forward. This helps to keep your morale high and strengthens your willpower.
3. However, no matter how committed you feel, do not rely on willpower alone
Willpower can be inconsistent – you can’t trust it no matter how excited and committed you are from the start. As time goes on, willpower usually weakens and the excitement of making a change wears off. Life happens so plan ahead for it! One solution is to get support and create an accountability plan. Tell your friends and family what you’re committed to, post it on social media – just share it in whatever way is comfortable for you. Being accountable really does go a long way.
4. Don’t expect making a change to be easy
Any kind of change pushes us beyond our comfort zone. Be prepared to feel some fear or resistance and know it’s a signal that you are growing. Expect to feel like you want to quit at times – everyone wants to quit at some point and those that are successful push through the discomfort. If transformation were easy, everyone would be doing it!
5. Don’t make a resolution simply because you think you 'should'
It’s important to have a clear understanding of why you are making the commitment. If you relate to it as just something you 'should' do, you will likely fail. In order to get past your 'why bother', you must have a clear vision of why it’s important to you. Make sure you are connected to what keeping the resolution will do for you and why that result really matters.
6. Don’t assume you won’t succeed because of past failures
Don’t let past failures predict your future. If you have a history of breaking resolutions and commitments, it becomes hard to believe something else is possible. It’s easy to lose confidence and trust in yourself to actually follow through. Why will it be different this time? Realise that simply changing your mindset and recommitting can make all the difference.
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1. Statistic Brain: https://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/