Why We Make & How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions
As the New Year brings with it the promise of a new beginning, there is no better time to set some resolutions for the coming year. This clean slate brings with it the idea that habits can be easily changed so that you can live a better life in the new year.
It’s interesting to note that traditionally New Year’s resolutions looked at changing bad habits or persisting with good habits. It's possible that our modern-day lifestyles have driven us to choose the former rather than reflecting on the latter. Choosing the right resolution might take some deliberation but with a little planning, these can be broken down into small manageable goals and produce a long-term habit shift.
What are the main types of resolutions?
Resolutions are promises to ourselves for the New Year. While resolutions can be both short and long term goals, they commonly fall into three categories:
- Health and fitness including eating healthier, improving physical health and losing weight.
- Work-related including improving skill sets, earning more and better time management.
- Family-related including spending more time with loved ones and growing the family.
Other types of resolutions include:
- Meeting new people
- Reading more
- Watching less television
- Saving money
- Being more open and adventurous
No matter what category these common resolutions fall into, they all have one thing in common - working towards improving your life.
Reasons why people don’t achieve their resolutions
Some resolutions fail because we tackle too much and others because we fail to plan appropriately. Here are some common reasons why our plans might not eventuate:
Setting a goal that revolves around an outcome rather than a change in behaviour. Joining a gym is a common fitness goal which is satisfied the moment you hand over your credit card details. Experts hold a kind of relentless optimism responsible for our desire to demonstrate being self-made which typically comes from social signals like being a member of a gym or having an ideal body shape. It’s far better to be committed to new & positive ways of living rather than focusing on the outcome.
The goal requires someone else to be completed. This can happen for resolutions about expanding a family or entering a relationship. Challenging topics on their own, it might be best to pivot towards the individual thing/s you can contribute a life with your partner or your social network. It could be anything from being more open to meeting new people or finding more time to connect with your partner as a parent.
Opting for aspirational rather than realistic. Earning more money is secretly on many people’s wishlists but it's hugely dependant upon numerous factors. In short, you can’t expect to earn more money without doing other things like learning new skills or exploring new areas of your professional network.
Above all else, resolutions fail because of the majority of them centre around an outcome and not the journey. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set goals. Instead, opt for manageable shifts in behaviour which actively help you get toward a desirable outcome.
Ways you can keep your New Year’s resolutions
It may seem like it’s easier to scrap making New Year’s resolutions altogether, however, the concept of making new promises is actually a really good one. By focusing on goals that are clear, concise and attainable whilst managing your expectations on how to execute your plans, you could unlock your potential.
Get clear on the details: The ability to meet resolutions revolves around being clear about exactly what you want to do and then figuring out how to follow through with it. Notice how eating an additional two vegetables a day or spending half an hour every day at Fernwood Fitness is far more straightforward than vague goals such as ‘lose weight’ - making the goal that bit more achievable.
Break down big and daunting tasks into more manageable ones: You’ve got 12 months / 365 days to see your plan through so using these time blocks could be a smart way to experience little wins whilst keeping sight of the bigger (long-term) journey. For example, you could ride a bike to work or hit the gym for 30 mins every afternoon. You’re bound to feel the physical effects of your new routine within a few months and by the end of the year, you can successfully say you spent the year building a new fitness habit.
Sharing your goals with others: Choosing to vocalise your plans to someone who you love and respect is an easy way to promote accountability and foster a positive relationship with your goal setting behaviours. So next time you’re out for coffee with friends or dining with your family, consider dropping resolutions into the conversation - you might be surprised by the enthusiasm and encouragement that they come back with.
When making resolutions it’s also wise to try to keep your good habits in place as they might help you in achieving your long term plans.
Achieving New Year’s Resolutions with Marketplace
New Year’s resolutions no longer have to be mere thoughts that go out the window mid-January. Instead, they can be promises that lead to bigger and better things in 2020. The key to resolutions is starting small. By breaking down resolutions into clear and manageable goals, it becomes easier to picture how you’ll achieve your goals. Setting you up for success, rather than another year of broken resolutions.
Marketplace Gungahlin can help you towards achieving your 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you are looking to kick start a new exercise routine or searching for solutions to declutter your home, Marketplace is the place to be.