On January 1st, the gym will be bustling with people trying to fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions. But only about 10 percent of those resolutions come to fruition.
There are many reasons that might happen. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic. It’s important to make resolutions that will challenge you, but setting unreachable goals can bog you down. For them to be attainable, make them well-defined and create a step-by-step plan for how to achieve them. Maybe you didn’t have the right mindset. Mental obstacles can play a large role in the achievement of goals. Or maybe your time management skills are insufficient, causing a lack of prioritization.
Sometimes, people don’t achieve their New Year’s Resolutions because they have impractical hopes for the ease, speed, and degree to which they can change their behavior. This might be referred to as false hope syndrome.
BUT YOU CAN SUCCEED!
Making New Year’s Resolutions stick isn’t too hard if you have a plan. Start by clearly defining your goals. If you want to read one book each week, make a list of the books you want to start with and set aside time each day when you’ll read them. Track your progress in a way that will make you feel accomplished – whether it’s checking things off a list or rewarding yourself after achieving certain aspects of your goal. Tell friends and family about the goals you set so people are checking in on you. Better yet, find someone who will be your accountability partner.
For many adults, New Year’s Resolutions are about putting an end to a bad habit – not exercising enough or eating too many sweets, for example. When setting your goals, remember it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So when you start that new goal, keep Jan. 21 in the back of your mind – if you make it until then with a new goal, you’re likely to stick with it for the long haul.
Remember to take it one step at a time. It’s not “all or nothing.” If you don’t run as far as you hoped, remember you’re lapping the people on the couch. Maybe you can’t work out for an hour, but make it 20 minutes – anything is better than nothing.
Ultimately, keep in mind that achieving goals isn’t always about willpower. Having the right skills and strategies is key to accomplishing your resolutions. But most importantly, be patient with yourself and have a wonderful new year!