How to *actually* stick to your New Year's resolutions - according to a psychologist
Because only 8% of us actually do.
Carpe diem. Image: iStock.Source:BodyAndSoul
We all know that familiar feeling when another year is ending and you think back to your New Year’s resolutions, realising you probably didn’t make it past the first few months.For some, they might give up after a few days, and for others, they might hold out for a few weeks, but inevitably a lot of us give up on them altogether.
In fact, Research suggests that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals. That’s a pretty incredible statistic and shows that for many of us, New Year’s Resolutions just are a wafty dream that we don’t even get close to achieving.
But never fear. Whilst there might be many reasons why you might not be able to stick to your goals, there are also many ways that can help you! To get more insight into how we can achieve our New Year’s Resolutions this time around, Lysn psychologist Gabrielle McCorry breaks it down for us.
Whilst it’s great to set the bar high, try to be realistic when it comes to goal setting. If moving to a mansion in the South of France and marrying a prince by the end of the year is on your list, but you’re currently single living with your mother, it might be worth reassessing. Yes, miracles do happen and yes, it is worth being optimistic, but just make sure you don’t get disappointed if you are setting too many unrealistic goals. Evidence shows we are more committed to achieving our goals if we believe they are attainable.
Less is more
If you are writing out a list out of 40 goals and wondering why you can’t achieve chances are it’s because you’re feeling overwhelmed. Less is more when it comes to goal setting. Whilst it’s admirable to want to achieve a lot, sometimes you will get better results if you just pick 4 or 5 grand goals for each area of your life. For example, if one of your goals is to lose weight, instead of trying to go to the gym twice a day, fast once a week and cut out all sugar, start with a lesser approach and hit the gym. Once you’ve nailed down a consistent routine with the gym, try implementing the other goals that will help you achieve your weight loss.
Start small. Image: iStock.Source:BodyAndSoul
Break it down
Sometimes large goals can feel unachievable because it’s hard to see how we can get there when it’s so grand. However, breaking down bigger goals can be the key to actually achieving them. For example, you might have set yourself a goal of saving $5,000 dollars by the end of the year. Whilst $5,000 might seem like a lot, the reality is that it is less than $100 a week. That could mean skipping that takeaway meal and extra coffee each week then before you know your balance will be building up. Defining ‘subgoals’ has been shown to increase self-confidence and motivation as we are able to see results quickly and our gradual progress towards the overall goal.
Celebrate the wins
Be sure to celebrate and reward yourself when you do achieve some of your milestones. If you’ve broken down your goals into smaller, more achievable actions and you’re consistently ticking them off, take some time to pat yourself on the back. Giving yourself a reward helps with motivation, however, make sure that it is consistent with what you’re trying to achieve.