We made it! We all made it through 2020, and what a year it was. We can only hope that 2021 will be a little less bumpy…
One way to ensure a better year is by kicking things off with a promising start and some clear goals for 2021. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘this is going to be the year I graduate from university’ or, ‘this year I want to pass my driving test’ or, ‘by the end of this year, I want to run 10 miles’. Whatever the case may be, New Year’s is a great excuse to reset and really consider what you want to be doing with your life – and how you’re going to get there.
Of course, it’s all very well saying this, but how many of us actually do it? Me, you, and everyone else for that matter, have all claimed to give our New Year’s resolutions a good shot but in reality we’ve already given up by the time February comes around.
In fact, a study by Statista revealed that only 4% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick to them. 4%. Honestly, what’s the point?
The thing is, lots of us pick our New Year’s resolutions for the wrong reasons – and go about doing them in the wrong way too.
So, here’s a few tips that should help you stick to your resolutions, or at least make some decent progress.
1.Do things out of love, not hate
Ideally, you should pick your New Year’s resolution because it’s something you think will make you happier, or improve your life in some way. But instead, we often focus on the negatives. For example, you hate the way you look so you’re going to suffer your way through a new diet. The truth is you’re much less likely to do something if you consider it a punishment. So, when you’re thinking up your next resolution, pick something you’ll actually enjoy and that you’ll get a positive result from. Learn a fun, new sport with the aim of getting fitter and healthier. Turn a chore into an exciting new project.
2.Don’t wait until the New Year to think up a resolution
Many people don’t agree with the whole New Year’s resolution fiasco because you shouldn’t wait until the 1st of January to start something – you can make plans and progress anytime of the year. While this is very true, New Year’s is still a great opportunity to revisit all those goals you gave up on, or haven’t got around to starting yet. Rather than picking a resolution just for the sake of having one, use this opportunity to start that task you’ve been procrastinating, and get stuck in.
3.Let others know
You’re more likely to actually stick to something if you tell others you’re doing it. In fact, you could even do your resolution with somebody. Learn to cook together, start saving money together, or introduce a competitive element to keep the motivation going, like seeing who can run 5k first.
4.Take small steps
Rather than jumping into a drastic change, make small, steady adjustments to allow yourself to ease into your new goals. You’re much more likely to stick to something if you incorporate it into your life gradually. So, rather than saying you’re going to quit smoking completely, go for cutting down on a cigarette break a day, and take things from there. Or, if you want to eat more healthily, just focus on adjusting to a better-quality breakfast first, before tackling lunch and dinner.
5.Celebrate your accomplishments
Don’t just focus on how hard your resolution is and how hideously badly you’re doing – give yourself some credit too. Celebrate each milestone you hit and, make sure you reward yourself for every victory, big and small.
6.You don’t have to be specific
Maybe a big reason for not sticking to your resolution (or even starting one) is because there’s nothing you really want to do. If there’s no particular thing you’re after – no certain job you’re after, or no certain car you’re dying to save up for – you can always be a bit more open-minded with your New Year’s goal. So, for example, rather than trying to lose a certain amount of weight, why not just aim to reach a point where you feel more body confident? Or think up a target you can fit into your everyday life, like ‘say yes to more opportunities’ or ‘be more active’.
7.Learn from your mistakes
If things go horribly wrong, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been worth it. What did you learn along the way? What are your strengths, and what are your weaknesses? What silver linings came out of your struggles? There’s always next year, anyway.