Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
Better Goal Setting Methods to Stay Healthier All Year Long
The countdown to 2016 just happened days ago and you can still see the ball dropping, the champagne flowing, and the squeals of excitement as the New Year was ushered in with horns and confetti. And like every year, the New Year comes paired with lofty resolutions where society tries to make us be a “New You” all in one day.
But did you know that resolutions are studied in depth to identify what resolutions stick, and which ones don’t? In the United States, the most common current resolutions include:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Put More into Savings
- Staying Healthy and Fit
- Quit Smoking
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family Members
- Learn Something New and Exciting
While these resolutions are full of promise, only 8 percent of Americans will actually achieve their resolution goal. Only one week after the New Year’s festivities, over 25 percent actually give up on their resolution. So much pressure on a large lifestyle change can make it easier to abandon than by setting smaller goals throughout the year.
So are resolutions actually worth making?
Research has indicated that for those who make diet changes and then overindulge during one meal will typically continue eating more during that day because they have already ‘messed the day up.’ Binge eating can occur with the goal of starting fresh and new during the next day. As a result, the diet does not typically last as long as an individual would like to see.
The same cycle can also be observed with missed workouts. Imposing strict limits through workout routine resolutions, such as going to the gym four times per week, can yield decreased motivation if workouts are missed. For example, if a workout is missed on Monday and Tuesday, it can become easier to ‘overindulge’ and continue the pattern since the week is already not on track.
So how can the cycle of unresolved resolutions be broken?
The first step is to create goals that can be maintained on a regular basis. A small step forward is much more progress than 3 large steps back. Being able to head outdoors for a walk if you missed the gym is better than not going to the gym for 3 days in a row. If you are finding it difficult to keep a resolution year after year, it may be time to further explore the core reasons why that resolution is not being kept. Taking the time to ask the “why” could lead to breakthrough you need to start making goal achieving a reality.
What are your goals for this week, month, or year? Tweet @themarcpro and let us know what your goal is, or what keeps you motivated to reach your goals.