How many New Years resolutions have you set over the years?
How many have stuck?
Probably, not many. You might start strong in January, but as the motivation dwindles, the resolutions fall to the back of your mind.
If this sounds familiar, let me start by saying you are not alone! So don’t feel guilty (majority of people won’t reach their New Years goal).
Instead, let me take you through some tips to create long-lasting, sustainable tips to create New Years resolutions that will last.
Firstly, only create a goal that you can effectively start RIGHT NOW.
There is no point in giving ‘future you‘ a goal to achieve on Monday. If ‘current you‘ can’t complete the goal today, it is too unrealistic and it won’t stick.
For example “starting Monday, I will exercise daily for an hour and eat healthy” (but over the weekend you’ve binged the latest Netflix series with some Uber Eats).
This type of goal is so unrealistic for many reasons. Firstly, daily exercise for an hour is actually a lot for the average population (like, a lot). Secondly, what is healthy eating? If you ask 10 people this question, you will probably get 5 different responses. Lastly, pushing your goal out until after the weekend is a clear sign that your current lifestyle doesn’t allow for that kind of goal.
Sure, that goal sounds great, but the chances of it lasting are slim.
Instead, this might be more realistic: “today, I will start by going for a 20 minute walk. I will aim to complete this 3 times per week, and chat to a Trainer in my gym about how I can add strength training to my routine. I will also aim to eat 2 more servings of vegetables each day”.
This sounds WAY more realistic. Your current lifestyle allowed you to start immediately, there is less emphasis on going from 0-100 and you are engaging the help from a professional. You have also defined what “eating healthy” means. Two servings of vegetables is a great start, and something that can be maintained on the regular.
My last tip on creating resolutions to last is around creating an environment that is suitable to your goals.
If you want to start eating more vegetables, you NEED to have more vegetables in the house that are easily accessible. Chances are, you aren’t going to drive to the shops when you realise you have run out of greens, you will probably just go without for the meal. That’s when the habit formation stops.
If you want to go for morning walks, you need to set an alarm to get up and have your shoes and socks ready. If you are in a rush for work, you won’t go for your walk (trust me).
See what I mean? Without a conducive environment, you’re only making life harder for yourself. Set yourself up for success and that New Years resolution will be that much more achievable.