[Amy Dodwell | Contributing Writer]
‘Lose weight’, ‘try something new’, ‘give up smoking’; these are some of the many resolutions that everyone makes on 1st January but hardly anyone ever keeps. On New Year’s Day, almost everyone claims that this year will be a “New year, new me” thanks to the resolutions we make, but we all know that these will last for a week, maximum. Those who vow to eat healthy will sneakily eat a chocolate left over from the holidays and those who claim to exercise more will sit down and watch a film to welcome in the New Year. Wouldn’t it be great if just once our brand new perspective of life lasted past the 2nd January?
Richard Wiseman, a Professor of Psychology here at the University of Hertfordshire, carried out a study in 2007 which found that more than half of the 3,000 people surveyed believed they would stick to their resolutions. But by the end of the year, only 12% of people succeeded.
He found that, men were 22% more likely to succeed when they set realistic goals for themselves, such as losing a pound a week rather than just saying they wanted to lose weight. However, women’s chances of keeping resolutions increased by 10% when they told friends and family.
With this in mind, here are 10 top tips for keeping your resolutions:
- Set realistic goals – instead of wanting to ‘eat healthy’, vow to have 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day.
- Tell your friends and family about your resolutions – they will help you to stay on track.
- Only make one or two resolutions – nobody has the time or energy to change everything in their life.
- Remind yourself why you thought of your resolution in the first place – it will help keep your motivation strong.
- Don’t punish yourself if you slip up – everyone deserves a treat once in a while.
- Keep track of your progress – if things are written down, you’re more likely to stick to them.
- Don’t make your decision on New Year’s Eve – it takes time to plan a realistic resolution.
- Stick to it for at least 21 days – experts say this is how long it takes for something to become a habit.
- Be prepared to change some habits – this may be obvious but it is one of the reasons so many people fail.
- Break up your goals – instead of simply saying ‘lose weight’, write down how you will try to achieve this each day.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015? Let us know @TridentMediaUK