A little more than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but roughly 8% actually succeed in meeting their goals.
Come the first of January, hoards of enthusiastic resolutioners account for the spiking sales of gym memberships, smoking cessation programs, diet programs and many other self-help programs. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolutioners are facing remorse and disappointment in themselves for falling out of line. Why is it that such good intentions seem so elusive?
Changing your behavior, whether it’s eating less, exercising more, quitting smoking, etc., is very difficult. Research has repeatedly proven the ways in which exhaustion depletes our willpower and generates an unavoidable state of stress. A well-rested person will have a much easier time resisting that cookie than a sleepy one. And studies have also shown that people who don’t get enough sleep aren’t just more tired, but are also more distracted.
With this in mind, here are 5 other useful tips to help you create, maintain, and succeed with your New Year’s Resolutions:
- It’s about you! Make it something you actually want, not something you should want or what everyone tells you it should be.
- Get proper rest! Without a good night’s sleep, the next day is challenging enough on it’s own without the added challenge of self control when you’re feeling week.
- Cultivate optimism. Positivity may be blocked by habitual pessimism, but if you are determined to stop complaining (to yourself and others) you can prevail. Pessimism is an instinctive habit most of us have and should be considered when making your resolution as a by-product of your resolution.
- Keep spirits high. Sometimes it feels impossible to cultivate optimism. At those times, try a different approach. Do something that makes you happy like watching your favorite movie, listening to your favorite song or doing something creative.
- Account and reward. Don’t focus on the goals as much as the achievements. For instance, by quitting smoking you can save an average of $35 per week or cutting back on meals may save you an average of $80 per week. This adds up.
Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up! Everyone has ups and downs. Resolve to recover from your mistakes, get back on track and make 2017 your year!