By Coach Nadia Popova
Hello 2023! Hello January! Hello, New Year’s Resolutions!
Everyone knows what New Year Resolutions are but have you ever thought about scientific reasons for New Year Resolutions?
Why do we feel compelled to set New Year’s resolutions? What about “January 1st” gives us the motivation to change? Studies have shown that we are more likely to tackle new goals when a significant milestone passes, such as the outset of a new week, month, or year.
Professor & Chair of Psychology at the University of Scranton, John C Norcross, has written on the science behind New Year’s resolutions for decades. Amongst his research that spans from 1978-2020, Norcross has found that of those who make a New Year’s resolution:
75% are still successful in keeping it after one week.
After two weeks, the number drops to 71%.
After one month, the number drops again to 64%.
And after six months, 46% of people who make a resolution are still successful in keeping it.
Compared to those with similar goals but no set resolution, only 8% are still successful after six months.
So how do you make your New Year’s resolution stick?
It is important to remember it is a journey, not an overnight fix, especially when it comes to the most common of resolutions, weight loss and exercise.
I am here to assure you Change is not going to happen overnight.
Live your Values!
Recognizing that the changes you are making are part of the person you want to be can help you sustain your resolutions over the long term.
A simple way of remembering your values is saying, for example, “I want to be the kind of person who enjoys healthy eating. I feel good when I eat at home and I’m saving money and that’s important to me so I’m going to keep doing this.” I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I felt that I was setting myself up for failure. This year instead of listing an abstract goal like “eat healthier,” I will think of specific small habits I can incorporate into my normal everyday life. And if I fail at any of these small steps — which I’m sure I inevitably will, I’ll do my best to give myself some slack and recognize that failure and recovery are part of the goal setting process. I’ll pick back up and not wait until the new year to start again. We can all find more success if we take a new approach to setting goals this year.
Instead of waiting until January 1st, do something, or quit something, when you are ready. You can set the date, or you can start out of the blue. It doesn’t matter what day of the year it is. We all know time is going to pass anyway.
Whether it’s a Monday or a random Thursday in the middle of January, there’s never a perfectly right – or wrong – time to set a new challenge.
Rather than waiting until the next fresh start to throw yourself full-throttle into yet another realistic goal, only to wind up burnt out by week three, why not start making smaller, actionable changes now, and watch your new life blossom as we enter into 2023?
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Happy New Year!