It’s a new year which means many of you have probably set out to start the new year with a resolution. Statistics show that 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. Usually we start the new year wanting to curb a bad habit or make a drastic change. The most popular new years resolutions are about weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking.
Though so many people start the new year with great goals in mind only 75% of resolutions are maintained past the first week and only 46% make it past 6 months. Even though many of the people who make resolutions end up breaking them, research tends to show that making a resolution is useful. People who out right make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't.
But why do so many people break their resolutions? I think people put too much emphasis on making a resolution. "Resolutions" set us up for failure because we think about them as all-or-nothing. Most people think in terms of "keeping" their resolutions or "breaking" them. Thinking in these terms of success or failure can be harmful when you have your first setback leaving you feeling like a total failure.
Instead of starting out with these grand plans as soon as the calendar hits January 1st instead make subtle changes until you reach your ultimate goal. If you want to lose weight, for instance, instead of starting out with the goal of losing 50 pounds, instead resolve to do so 5 or 10 pounds at a time. Also, concentrate on some of the other positive outcomes you will gain, like more energy, better skin, and being healthier. Don't focus on what is impossible but on what can now be accomplished.
The same idea works for other resolutions as well. If you want to exercise more, instead of going out and signing a one year gym membership start small. Resolve to work out three nights a week, start taking walks or using a workout dvd or video game. If after a few months you are still in this routine than think about paying for a gym membership.
What if you break your resolution? Instead of thinking you are going to quit or start doing something for the rest of your life, or that if you fail then you should never try again. We all need to remember that we are all human! Setbacks are normal and should be expected. So start this year becoming a better you, no matter what you choose to resolve.