Why new year’s resolutions fail
Making new year’s resolutions can be light-hearted fun. It can also be a way to take stock of what matters in your life and resolve to make conscious improvements, with support from your social networks. But sometimes, the pressure to hit your goals can have a counterproductive effect.
If you’ve struggled to keep your new year’s resolutions, you’re not alone. According to research, about two-thirds of people who make new year’s resolutions give up within a month. 74% of subjects listed their new year’s resolutions as the same, or similar, to the ones they made last year, often focused on diet, exercise, or other health-related objectives. This can lead to a frustrating cycle of disappointment - or present an opportunity to think differently about your approach.
Whether or not you’re making new year’s resolutions of your own this year, these tips can give you an advantage in getting more of what you want in your life.
Think big, but be realistic
Before making a new year’s resolution, reflect on your deepest personal values. You may be able to generate more motivation to hit your goals if they’re aligned with what’s most important to you, rather than what you think you should care about.
It’s okay to be a bit ambitious - setting a high bar can generate excitement and motivate your creative brain to come up with unusual solutions you may not have otherwise considered - but don’t make things too hard on yourself. You’re most likely to achieve your objectives if they’re SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
You can also help yourself hit your goals if you remove as much friction from the process as possible. For instance, if your goal is to eat healthier food, but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or compromise on flavor, Kevin’s Natural Foods has a host of entrees, sides sauces, and seasonings that are healthy, delicious, and take very little effort to prepare.
Break down big goals into manageable steps
The major problem with broad, diffuse new year’s resolutions such as “get in shape” or “eat better” is that they’re not tied to specific, step-by-step plans of action. If you tend to give up on your goals before you even get started, it may be because you don’t have a clear process to follow. That makes it hard to know what to actually do, and easier to retreat into your old habits, which at least are familiar.
You can “chunk down” your new year’s resolutions by creating smaller “sub-goals” and working backward, gathering the resources you need ahead of time, and making a list of all the checkpoints you need to hit. As you do this, remember to...
Celebrate small victories
Our brains are biased to help us work harder to meet our goals when they know the end is in sight. This is known as the “goal gradient effect,” and you can use it hit your new year’s goals more easily, enjoying more moments of satisfaction along the way. If you want to lose 20 pounds, go ahead and reward yourself when you lose five pounds. This turns a long slog into a series of small celebrations - and it makes it easier for you to keep going when things are tough.
Get some support
You can have a huge advantage in keeping your new year’s resolutions when you have the right people in your corner. Announcing your resolutions to your friends may help, but you can really supercharge your success when you find the right accountability partner. You can provide mutual coaching, keep each other honest, celebrate your successes, and share the knowledge you glean along the way.
Don’t get discouraged if your accountability partnership doesn’t work out - your values and schedules may not be in sync, or you may decide you want to do things differently. It’s okay to try several accountability partners until you find the one who’s right for you. A strong accountability partnership can help solidify and strengthen a great friendship, and it can provide us with the social support we very much need to take on life’s challenges.
Eat right, get good sleep, and stay healthy
Even if your new year’s resolutions aren’t specifically tied to health and nutrition - maybe you want to take charge of your finances, find romance, or spend more quality time with your family - taking care of your health is essential.
When you’re sleeping well, getting enough exercise, and enjoying a healthy diet, you’ll have more motivation and energy to do what you want and make wiser decisions.
Eating food that’s good for you is essential. And it doesn’t have to be bland, or take hours of prep work. In fact, the right healthy diet can add delight to your day and make everything easier and more fun.
Kevin’s Natural Foods has entrees, sauces, and seasonings that are healthy, delicious, ready to serve in minutes, and reasonably priced. If your new year’s resolution involves a specific dietary regimen - such as Paleo, Keto, or vegan - Kevin’s has you covered.
Start eating healthier today and get a head start on a healthy and happy new year.