A new year with new opportunities: many people want to change things in their life, compared to their previous year. Losing weight, becoming more productive, quit smoking, drink less and exercise more are the most common resolutions. According to a survey of NU.nl (2017), a third of the Dutch population has New Year’s resolution. However, the chance of succeeding is almost as big as the chance of failing during the year. For many people, there are still enough ways to improve their chances of success. In this article, we discuss the steps that you can go through, making sure the good intentions for 2018 are a success!
Thinking and planning
Why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail? One reason is that many good intentions are a solution for the symptom, but not the solution for the underlying problem. A good example is that people want to lose weight. People focus on losing weight as quickly as possible by burning fat. This may work in the short term, but this is only a small part of a healthier eating and drinking pattern. So, this probably will not work in the long run.
Now you thought about the underlying problem, it is important to have tangible goals with a corresponding plan. Set goals that you think you can succeed in, slowly at first so that you can get used to it, or in steps if you work on a bigger goal. This way you reduce the chance of your resolution failing.
New Year’s resolutions are often about changing habits. Old habits die hard is not just a saying. It takes time, dedications and discipline to change habits. Because change needs time, it is important to make sure you hold on to your new pattern in the beginning.
Research also shows that those who hold on to their New Year’s resolutions, will likely make it through the rest of the year. How do stay strong in keeping your New Year’s resolutions? Add these tips to complete your New Year’s resolution plan.
- Create a list of benefits. This is a reminder for you during the difficult moments, so you do not forget why made these resolutions. Write these key advantages down. for example: I want to feel fitter, I want to be a good example for my kids or I want to feel happier.
- Tell people about your resolutions. Support, understanding and respect from your environment can give your motivation a decent boost.
- Do not give up after a ‘slip up’, but learn from it. Many people quit their resolutions after just one error. This is a shame, since you are already on the right track. See this not as a failure, but as a small set back. Find out why you, out of all those moments, made a mistake at that moment. Use this knowledge to prevent a slip up in the future.
- A habit change requires a lot of discipline and willpower. Succeeding should be rewarded. This way you associate these changes also with something positive.
- Because a resolution requires quite some power and discipline, it is wise to start with one resolution. This increases your chance of success.