New Year’s Resolutions - Set Yourself Up for Success

The Secrets to Keeping New Year's Resolutions

As the year comes to an end, countless people commit to lifestyle changes related to self-improvement. Unfortunately, according to research, the vast majority of these people will ultimately fall back into old patterns. If you have had trouble keeping New Year’s resolutions in the past, here are some tips to help you succeed this go-round.


Setting Yourself up for Success

While people generally begin the New Year with the best of intentions, studies have shown that 80 percent usually give up on their New Year’s resolutions within 30 to 60 days. According to experts, this is generally because we set goals that don't really fit our lifestyles.

According to Nielsen surveys, the most common New Year's resolutions include one or more of the following:

  • Staying fit and healthy

  • Losing weight

  • Enjoying life to the fullest

  • Spending less, saving more

  • Spending more time with friends and family

  • Getting organized

  • Learning something new

  • Traveling more

While all admirable, these types of resolutions are difficult to achieve, because they either require time, money, sacrifice or dedication. More importantly, they can often prove disruptive to existing lifestyle habits, which tends to promote certain failure.


Tips for Success

While it may sound hopeless, there are actually some ways you can successfully carry out your New Year's resolution. These include:


Choose something that fits. It's easy to set high goals when we are feeling especially motivated. The problem is maintaining this outlook when your motivation dies out. In turn, it's better to set achievable goals that will fit neatly within your current lifestyle. Instead of changing your entire diet, commit to adding at least one serving of vegetables to every meal. Instead of training for a marathon, commit to taking the stairs at work. Whatever your big plans, make sure they fit within your existing schedule and lifestyle.


Set small goals. Remember that developing self-discipline is a lengthy process. The more you accumulate little successes, the more you will begin viewing yourself differently. Just like a snowball rolling downhill, little victories can add up to big things down the line.


Establish a routine. Just like brushing your teeth at night, you should work your resolution into your everyday schedule. If you can do this, you can turn your it into a healthy habit requiring much less discipline. When this occurs, things get a lot easier. That said, research suggests that it can take at least 66 days for a recurring action to become habitual. This is why it's so important to make your New Year's resolution a part of your routine, especially during the first two months of the year.


Get support. If possible, create a support network to help you stay on task. Explain your plans to friends or family to make your resolution real and hold yourself more accountable. It can also help to have a sounding board, whether it's a trusted friend, family member or counselor, who can listen, provide support and help you celebrate your accomplishments.


Our caring therapists are here to help you thrive in the New Year and beyond! Contact us today!