How To Set New Year’s Resolutions That Actually Stick
Every new year is a new beginning, and many are inspired to make a fresh start.
Whether you call them resolutions, goals, plans or something else, it can be easy to lose momentum when it comes to sticking to them. Research has found that only a quarter of Brits who have made resolutions will keep them. One in five fail to keep to their resolutions by January 6th. So how can you set a resolution and stick to it? Here are our best tips for going the distance with your new year’s goals.
Understand why you want to make the change
This is a step that people often skip, but it’s one of the most essential steps to take. If you don’t have a good reason for setting your resolution, you’re more likely to give up as soon as that goal becomes uncomfortable or inconvenient.
There are two major motivators when it comes to goals – extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic is focused on factors outside of ourselves, such as what others think of us, power and fame. Intrinsic is focused on what is within us, such as well-being, personal growth and our relationships with others.
Let’s take weight loss as an example. If you wanted to lose weight because your mother-in-law says nasty things about you, or because you think you won’t attract a partner at your current weight, that is focusing on extrinsic factors. That means that as soon as you have a bad day, you’re likely to give up altogether.
On the other hand, if you want to lose weight so that you can play with your children at the local park or reduce your risk of chronic disease, that's intrinsic motivation. Because these are things that are important to you, you’re more likely to keep up your efforts, even when it gets uncomfortable.
If you’re still not sure what your deeper reasons are, ask yourself how you would feel if you kept to that goal. It might be ‘more confident’, ‘secure and safe’, ‘proud of myself’, ‘fulfilled’ or ‘strong’. Keeping these in mind can help keep you on track as you work towards your goals.
Think about what you want to do more of
Often, we talk about what we want to give up or stop doing. But do you ever think about what you want to replace it with? Most people don’t, which can lead to a failed resolution by the time February rolls around.
Quitting bad habits can be almost impossible when done alone. But if you substitute that habit for another habit, it becomes much easier.
Want to stop eating a block of chocolate when you’ve had a stressful day? Switch it for 10 minutes of yoga stretches when you arrive home every evening.
Want to spend less money? Focus on saving more money towards a financial goal.
Want to drink less when you go out? Find a non-alcoholic drink you can enjoy instead.
Be specific about what you want to achieve
Another reason many people fail to keep their resolutions is because they aren’t specific enough. The more specific you are, the easier it is to take action towards the outcome you desire.
For example, you might want to lose weight or save more money. If you lose 100g and save an extra $1 in 366 days, you’ve technically achieved that goal. But you might feel like you’ve failed because it wasn’t as much as you wanted.
Include numbers, dates and/or measurements whenever possible. Instead of ‘lose weight and save money’, your resolution might be ‘lose a stone by June 30th’ or ‘save £3,000 into an emergency fund by December 1st’.
Break it down into bite-sized goals.
Once you’ve made yourself a specific goal, it might seem unachievable or overwhelming. That’s where breaking it down into smaller goals can be useful.If you want to lose a stone by the end of June, don’t focus on dropping a stone as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you might lose it with a fad diet, only to put it all back on by the time June 30th rolls around.
Instead, break it down into 2lb at a time. If you lose 2lb 7 times, you’ve achieved your goal.If you want to save £3,000 by December, you can break it down into weeks or months, depending on how frequently your job pays you. This turns into £275 per month or £62.50 per week.
Set yourself mini-rewards
Once you’ve created bite-sized goals, a good way to stay motivated is with rewards. As you progress towards your goal, you can make the rewards greater. Some mini-rewards you might enjoy include:
Soaking in a bubble bath
Buying yourself a book or magazine
Coffee or lunch with a friend
Buying yourself some flowers
Booking yourself a massage
Schedule a day off work
Book a weekend away
The options are limitless – it really depends on what feels like a reward to you. Just remember not to choose rewards that work against your goals. After all, there’s no point in rewarding yourself by spending all of your savings or eat your way back up 2lbs!
P.S. By the way, if you'd like to start your new year off the right way we're currently having a 10% off storewide sale.
All you have to do is enter the coupon code NEWYEAR at checkout to get 10% off your entire order.
Youll have to be quick though, this sale is only valid until the 2nd of January.