Tips To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Mia Noel, Writer

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We all know a little too well that making a New Year’s resolution can be hard to keep, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right strategies keeping your resolution can be easier than you think. It tends to be the simple things like actually making a goal, sharing it with others, having a purpose, and not giving up that helps people keep their New Year’s resolutions.

The first thing you can do to really help you keep your resolution is to make one. I know this may sound a little silly, but people who verbally commit to their plan are more likely to achieve it than those who just thought of something they might want to achieve in this coming year. When building your resolution make sure you’re being realistic and are trying to accomplish something that is attainable for you. When creating your plan also keep in mind the overall purpose of your new goal. Making sure that, in the long run, there is a purpose for this resolution will help increase your drive for wanting to accomplish it. One thing to keep in mind is that research has shown that people who set “harder” goals are more likely to attain them than those who set “easier” goals. In addition to that, research done by Dr. Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has stated that it can be helpful to make two or more smaller goals rather than just one big goal. However, if you think this is the way to go then you must remember that the two or more goals must have some sort of correlation to each other for it to be helpful. The last tip to keep in mind when generating a resolution is to prepare beforehand for the change that it will bring. For example, don’t go to the store and buy a whole bunch of junk food if you know your New Year’s resolution is going to be eating healthier.

One tip for more motivation is to make your resolution with everyone else at the beginning of the year. This tends to help people keep on the right track because if you make your resolution at the same time as your friends, family, and coworkers then you’re more likely to feel inspired to do as well as the people around you. Another tip for inspiration during the year is to post about your aim for the new year on any social media sites. When people post their resolutions on social media friends and family tend to be encouraging by saying things like “best of luck” or “I know you can do it”, and this can be really motivating for people.

 

Image result for new years 2018 ball drop

During your first month after creating your resolution a good thing to do is to provide incentives to keep up your motivation to start and achieve your aim. A study done by Gary Charness and Uri Gneezy was conducted on students at the University of Chicago to show that using incentives to get a good start with your new resolution is helpful. At some point using an incentive after every time you, for example, go to the gym will no longer be helpful. Instead you could make check points to keep you on track and not spoil yourself with rewards. Keep in mind that if your resolution is to break a bad habit then the best way to break it is to slowly lean off of it instead of all of a sudden stopping it. If you just all of a sudden try stopping a habit it will prove to be very difficult. A good thing to remember when you’re first starting your plan is to never give up even if you slip up. If your aim is to eat healthier and you “accidentally” have a cupcake don’t just give up on your goal because you slipped up once. A good resolution to have is one that may be a little harder but you feel that it would be ok if you have a slip up every now and then because its not an all or nothing feeling.

 

Image result for cupcakes

 

 

Lastly, there are two good strategies to keep in mind when planning through your decision. One is to make a mental connection between something you regularly do and your resolution. As an example, when you brush your teeth every night (regular activity) you can remind yourself to use mouthwash (objective) right after brushing. The second is to connect something you want to do with something you crave. As an example, if you want to go to the gym more often (your want) then reward yourself with a smoothie (your craving) after you go. Although this strategy tends to help a lot when you’re first starting out on your resolution it could prove to be unhelpful later into the year.

In total there’s only 5 things that you really need to remember in order to increase your chances of keeping your New Year’s resolution. (1) Verbally commit to your realistic plan, and also make sure you have a purpose (2) make your goal at the same time as friends and family (3) don’t be afraid to share it with others (4) give yourself incentives and rewards (5) don’t be afraid to look up strategies to help you complete your goal. New Year’s resolutions tend to be hard for people but following just a few of these strategies will enlarge your chances of getting through the year. Best of luck!

 

Sources:

https://psmag.com/news/we-believe-in-you

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/01/the-science-of-keeping-your-new-years-resolution/?utm_term=.ad54bc71e92e

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/30/want-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions-heres-how.html

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