It is estimated that 30% of the UK population will make a New Year’s resolution of some kind come January 2018. That’s nearly 20 million people.
Research from health and fitness retailer Discount Supplements found that nearly half of those self promises will relate to health and exercise. The most popular being to lose weight and get fit. However, an estimated 92%* will break their resolutions with 66%* of-of those failing before January is out.
Why do we punish ourselves with unrealistic goals? Are they ever actually achieveable?
“We should take smaller steps to reach our ultimate goals”, says nutritionist Zoe Martin at Discount Supplements. “If your goal is to lose 3 stone then break it down. Set yourself a target weight to lose over the course of a month, and set smaller targets in-between such as going to the gym twice a week or not eating takeaways. These small resolutions will change your behaviour in the long term and can really feel like you are making progress, rather than think the challenge is just too great and giving up within days.”
For those who fail at their resolutions it is usually not because they have not tried or are not committed they merely choose the wrong type of resolution. If you plan your resolutions beforehand you can create ones that you will always be able to reach with reasonable effort.
Fitness advisor Luke Thornton from Discount Supplements has worked with Zoe to create a guide on sticking to your resolutions and meeting your goals. Luke says “you need to plan how you will fulfil your goals. Then remind yourself daily. It can be something easy like leaving your running shoes by the front door to remind yourself you need to start jogging again. When you do go for that run ensure you reward yourself with a bath, or a new book or something of value to you. Set your cue’s that remind you every day and have a bank of rewards you can choose that are good for you and will motivate you.”
Be realistic about your resolutions. If you can actually see yourself achieving it then it is more likely that you will stick to it. 63% of people that start New Year’s resolutions fail within the first month so keep it realistic and don’t lie to yourself.
Make it measurable
It can be inspiring and fun to have an ambitious goal but if you can’t tell if you are getting closer to achieving it then you will fail. For example; you can’t exactly measure how happy you are but you can measure how many nice or good things you have done for others in the past week.
Never doubt yourself
While working towards your goal, you must always believe you can do it. If you doubt yourself, you will start to become complacent and will slowly give up. If you allow yourself to take a break even for a small period of time you will most likely never get back to working on achieving your goal.
Having a list up on the wall of what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them will help stop you from giving up. For example, have it on the wall facing you when you wake up, it will keep it fresh in your mind so you won’t start to forget or doubt yourself.
Keep it short
This happens more often than you think, where people set themselves extremely long-term goals that can be very difficult for many people to stick to. This is purely because the more time it takes to achieve the goal the more time you have to quit before you achieve it.
For example; it appears easier to stop drinking carbonated drinks for 6 weeks than trying to stop for an entire year.
Create small challenges
Once you’ve begun working towards your goal, start to give yourself small challenges to keep yourself on track. It could be a simple challenge like adding an extra 5 minutes to your workout or not checking your social media accounts until the evening.
Get a friend involved
If you have a friend trying to achieve the same goal, working at it together will help keep both of you on track. This buddy system helps both of you as to not let each other down by giving up or putting it off.