Every year on December 31st people make a list of things they want to change about themselves and their lives, and vow to keep them. These vows are called “New Year’s Resolutions,” and the only resolution most people will keep is that they’ll break most, if not all, of them. Below is a list of the five most broken New Year’s resolutions that many people will make with the best intentions.
1—Lose weight and/or get fit
3—Learn something new
4—Eat healthy and/or diet
5—Save money and/or get out of debt
Does anyone succeed with his or her resolution? They do if they look at the resolution from another angle. IPSOS Reid Poll said that in 2015, 27% of people who made New Year’s resolutions kept them. If you want to keep one of yours, below are some tips that might help you succeed.
- Make only one resolution, not a list. Focusing on one goal is easier than focussing on five or ten.
- Be specific. Saying you want to lose weight or quit smoking is too broad. Set a certain number and a certain timeframe to achieve your goal. And this leads to the next tip…
- Be realistic with your goals. You know your limitations. Trying to take on too much will only help you fail, making you feel defeated and bringing you back to where you were before the resolution. Moderation goes a long way, and if you break your goal down into smaller milestones, you’ll find it’ll be easier to reach your main goal.
- Have someone be your “resolution buddy.” We all know it’s easier to keep to our fitness routine or go to language class if there’s someone who’s counting on us. Strength in numbers, as they say. This buddy can be joining you in the same goal, or be someone who gives you honest encouragement when you ask for it or when he or she knows you need it.
- Celebrate the milestones along the way. If you saved $100 in two months towards your goal of saving $1000 over the course of the year, then celebrate. If you finally did a half-hour bike ride without stopping as part of your goal towards biking 3 hours without stopping, then celebrate. Having something to look forward to and having small pats on the back along the way helps keep you on your mission to succeed.
- Don’t wait until the new year. Timothy Pychl, psychology professor at Carleton University, says that making New Year’s resolutions is just a form of “cultural procrastination.” So, if you’re thinking of making a resolution at New Year’s, why not just start now and continue throughout the year.
So whatever your goal, you can succeed your resolutions if you approach them differently. You can be one of the 27% of Canadians who keep their New Year’s resolutions, even if it’s still 2016. As they say: no time like the present!