It’s that time of year when we’re expected to reach for the stars and improve our prospective futures by setting resolutions for the new year – resolutions which we often fail to stick to.
Something about the traditional fireworks, getting on the piss with the boys and spicy memes from NSW Police Force about double demerit-points(because, let’s face it, what else actually makes January 1st special?) really motivates us to make resolutions to change our lives for the better. Around half of us, anyway, because apparently the other half have realised it’s a sham.
Data collected in 2017 suggests that just nine percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions actually stick to them. Let’s have a moment of silence for all of those cancelled gym memberships.
It all comes down to setting achievable goals. We tend to aim really freaking high at New Year’s; weight loss, becoming more environment-conscious, drastic exercise increases, quitting smoking and drinking and debt management are common goals. Unfortunately deciding to hit the gym five times per week when you work three jobs on top of uni isn’t going to be realistic for everybody.
Resolutions need to be realistic. Change doesn’t happen without hard work. Wanting to escape the status quo without considering how to change bad habits isn’t a viable way to reinvent yourself in the longterm, says Timothy Pychyl, a Professor of Psychology.
- Focus on one resolution, not several.
- Be specific. “Losing weight” is pretty vague, “losing two kilos over a month” is more realistic and calculable.
- Make your change with a friend
- Celebrate small milestones along the way, not only the end goal!
My advice? Screw New Year’s Day. If you desire a change in your life, do something now. It doesn’t matter what day it is! This way, you’ll be doing it purely for the sake of change, not an over-hyped cultural tradition. Be confident in why and how you’re making this resolution. Find a time to begin that works with your motivation and lifestyle, and spend January 1st in bed, hung over, like the rest of us.