We know, we know… you’ve probably had enough of the whole “new year, new you” talk. Before you close this article, though, hear us out! We aren’t here to talk you into making new year resolutions. We’re pretty sure you’ve already made some, or thought about them at least. However, studies have shown that about two-thirds of individuals abandon their resolutions within a month – definitely not the way to start the new year! So, why are resolutions so hard to keep? Why do we get so excited and motivated on the first few days of the new year… only to let that fizzle out as the weeks go by? What sets apart those who keep their resolutions from those who don’t?
In this article, we share our top tips for actionable steps and ways you can commit to your New Year goals, once and for all.
1. Rethink resolutions
Who said resolutions can only be made at the start of every year? Thinking about a whole year ahead is huge and can be stressful. After all, so much can happen within a year that isn’t within your control. Instead, consider coming up with monthly (or even weekly) resolutions. That way, you’ll build up momentum and stay motivated for a longer period. Plus, 12 resolutions met in a year? That’s bound to make you feel good!
2. Know the ‘why’ behind your goal
Often, when we come up with resolutions, we think of the eventual result – a bigger bank account, a fitter body, the list goes on. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in times where you’re struggling to go through with the hard steps, those go out the window. I mean, a fitter body would be nice… but watching Netflix often sounds like a much better idea than heading for a run.
This is where the “why” comes in. Think about your why: Why is this goal important to me? Is this in line with my values? Is this goal based more on societal pressure or something I truly want for myself? Research has shown that we are much more likely to achieve our goals when we have intrinsic motivation. Remember to come back to your “why” over time – and be okay with it changing. If it does, and that goal is no longer as important to you, then toss it. It’s your goal, no one else’s.
3. Be S.M.A.R.T
… Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound, that is! While resolutions like “get fitter” or “be more green-minded” can energise and excite, they are often too vague. This makes it easier for you to make up excuses when it’s crunch time. Being S.M.A.R.T about your goal allows you to break down something that might seem overwhelming into smaller micro steps – steps that feel achievable, steps that you can do on a daily basis, and steps that will bring you closer and closer to your goal.
4. Make it fun and make it work for you
We get it… getting down to the nitty-gritty part of keeping those resolutions is often anything BUT fun. In fact, it can be downright uncomfortable – a process that involves getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. But, hey, if you’re going to go through it… at least make it semi-enjoyable. Remember that you are your own unique individual and what is fun for you is unique to you as well. For some, getting the help and accountability of others to join them in their health journeys may be empowering. To others, the thought of having to report how they’re doing to others can be stressful. Come up with things that you know will keep you motivated.
5. Be kind to yourself!
Last, but definitely not the least, be kind to yourself! It’s incredibly easy to beat yourself up when you don’t see yourself making any progress towards your goals (or worse, if you’re going backwards). It can be easy to just give up. That kind of mindset, as cliche as it sounds, doesn’t get you anywhere. Choose to practice patience with yourself and treat yourself the way you would a good friend. Would you tell your friend to give up her goal of saving up for a dream holiday… just because she spent money on a dress she wanted? Would you tell your friend to give up toning up… just because she decided to miss a gym session on a stressful day at work? We think not. Often, we’re our harshest critic. Hate to break it to you but you aren’t perfect, you’re going to mess up, and that’s totally okay!
So, there you have it: our. Our top tips for sticking to those New Year resolutions. And, if resolutions aren’t your thing,… that’s totally fine too! Remember that resolutions are just that – resolutions. They don’t define you, your year, or anything else. Regardless of whether you stick to your resolutions or not, you’re bound to learn more about yourself in the process. Resolutions often focus on the tangible and external things but perhaps, use this time to think about the person you want to become as a result of those resolutions – stronger, kinder, resilient. You got this!
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About Autumn: Headquartered in Singapore and backed by Standard Chartered, Autumn is a holistic financial, health and lifestyle app. We’re founded on the belief that a genuinely meaningful retirement goes beyond just financial readiness; but also, overall well-being. Download the app today.
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