How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2016
At some point in most people’s lives, when that clock strikes 12 and the new year begins, many take on the “New Year, New You” mentality and make the almighty New Year’s resolution. If you’re one of those people, you’re not alone! It is estimated that approximately 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year. As we all know, making the resolution is the easy part. It’s actually sticking with the resolution until you have accomplished your goal that can sometimes seem impossible.Unfortunately, only around 8% of people who make resolutions are successful while 1 in 3 people who make resolutions ditch them before January even comes to an end. Don’t be discouraged! Here are some helpful tips that may help you conquer your resolutions and accomplish your 2016 goals.
Common New Year’s Resolutions
- Lose Weight
- Eat Healthy
- Exercise More
- Manage Stress
- Spend Less, Save More
- Quit Smoking
- Get Organized
- Spend More Time With Friends &Family
Understanding the Habit Loop
The habit loop is a neurological loop that was discovered by researchers at MIT to be at the very core of every habit. The loop consists of three parts: ‘A Cue’, ‘A Routine’ and ‘A Reward.’
- ‘The Cue’ is a trigger that tells your brain which habit to use. It could be a location, time, emotional state, other people or some other immediately preceding action.
- ‘The Routine’ is the behavior that you want to change. For example, it could be snacking or smoking.
- ‘The Reward’ is simply what you get out of the habit. It helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering. For example, if you have habit of smoking everyday at 3:15pm with a group of coworkers, the reward could be the nicotine or the socialization that goes along with smoking.
To help you reach your goals and replace bad habits or make changes, you need to identify the components of your loop. As soon as you are able to identify the components of a particular behavior you can look for ways to replace the behavior. For more information on the habit loop, I suggest reading ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg.
How To Keep Your Resolutions
- Tell others.Telling others about your goal increases your accountability and allows others the opportunity to help support you.
- One resolution at a time. Replacing or changing behaviors takes time.Don’t overwhelm yourself by making too many changes at one time.
- Be Realistic. Don’t fail before you even get started by making resolutions you can’t accomplish. Make your goals reachable and start small.
- Try setting behavior-oriented goals that will assist you in accomplishing your resolution. For instance, instead of saying you want to lose weight, say you are going to get to the gym three times this week, take the stairs more at work or prep healthier lunches each day.
- Treat your willpower like a muscle. Researchers are learning that willpower is very much like a muscle. This means the more you exercise willpower, the stronger it gets. However, like any muscle in the body, if you work it too hard it will eventually give out.
- Plan, Plan & Plan again. Detailed plans make it more likely that you are to accomplish your goals. Plans help you to manage your time, deal with temptations as well as help you if you get into trouble along the way.
- Give yourself rewards along the way to reinforce your will power.If you accomplish your goal for the week or month, reward yourself with something that you enjoy that doesn’t go against your resolution.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you have a bad day or slip back into a bad habit, don’t beat yourself up, nobody is perfect