According to statistics, approximately 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. The most common resolutions include weight loss, financial improvement, exercise and getting a new job. An informal social media poll by MilfordLIVE.com found that these resolutions are fairly common, although some people make their changes more specific.
One of the top resolutions people made for 2016 was to get healthy, whether that meant adding fitness, changing diet or quitting smoking.“I’ve been saying this for decades, however, I am turning 55 in February and know I really, really need to do this now as it gets harder each year,” Jo Schmeiser said. “I plan on focusing on nutrition, will start and hopefully stick to an exercise program…”
Susan DiBartolo said that her healthy lifestyle included quitting smoking and that she had already significantly decreased her cigarette smoking. Barbara Weide said that she intended to walk every day, whether it was 10, 20 or 30 minutes.
Tracy Callahan said that she hoped the Fitbit she recently purchased would help her avoid losing 15 pounds and gaining back ten as she had done in previous years. Ms. Callhan’s experience with New Year’s resolutions is not unusual. According to experts, one in three people give up on their resolutions by the end of January. Many site that they are too busy or that achieving what they wanted was too difficult. Experts say that those who fully commit to making resolutions are more likely to see success.
Psychologists say that one of the reasons New Year’s Resolutions do not work is that people fail to make realistic plans that will help them achieve their goals. Many times people will make a resolution such as “I will go to the gym three times each week.” However, this is not a specific enough goal as it is difficult to identify the obstacles that may prevent achieving the goal. Instead, consider putting a visit to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, noting weeks when an adjustment must be made due to other obligations.
In addition, people should make changes to their environment. It is also important to make desirable behavior easy and undesirable behavior difficult. Remove unhealthy foods from cabinets or avoid places where smoking is more tempting than others, for example. It is also important to remember that changing behavior is difficult and that there will be times when you will fail. Rather than giving up when you eat something you should not or you miss your appointment at the gym, treat it as an opportunity to learn what to do in the future so you do not make the same mistake.
Understanding that a New Year’s resolution is actually a goal you wish to achieve is also beneficial and why you should make it specific. Instead of “I want to lose weight,” say “I want to lose 10 pounds by Memorial Day.” That gives you a specific goal to strive for and a deadline to meet. It is also important to write down your goals as well as what steps you will take to achieve it. All of these tips can help you succeed with your New Year’s resolutions and achieve the goals you set.