Christmas is over, New Year has been and gone, and we’re assuming that, like us, you’ve probably overindulged over the festive period. Like us you might have eaten too much candy, crisps and treats and are now thinking about trying to be a bit healthier. Everything in moderation!
A massive 80% of people surveyed in the US reported that they failed to achieve their new year’s resolutions last year, so if you’re trying to eat healthier, give up smoking or exercise more the odds are against you achieving what you want to consistently over the year, but fear not, we’ve got some top tips to help you see it all the way through.
There’s a science for everything, and the psychology of giving up or maintaining something new can help you to reach your goals when done properly.
It may seem like an obvious one but more often than not people tend to jump into these things two footed without proper preparation. As an example, if your aim is to get fitter and healthier then it would make sense to sit and plan when you’re able to attend the gym, which is the most affordable, and how long you’re able to stay for.
Likewise, if you’re going to try and eat healthier it would make sense to draw up some meal plans, a new shopping list, and think about how you might reward yourself in moderation. If you’re going to try and eat a healthy meal once a day, and reduce your calorie intake, then you could start to plan a healthy evening meal followed by a small bag of candies a few times a week. This means your goals are more manageable and you’re able to plan for success.
Don’t give up
A lot of people fail with their resolutions because they assume that if they slip they’ve failed and there’s no point in carrying on. If somebody who is trying to give up smoking lapses, for example, and has a cigarette, that’s not instantly a failure and most that eventually succeed understand this.
Know that if you’re going to try and make big changes to your lifestyle that there may be times when you can’t be perfect, but it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. A better way to treat it is as a learning exercise: what caused you to lapse? When did it happen? Can you avoid that situation in the future?
The biggest predictor of eventual success, according to scientists, is the self-belief required that you will eventually succeed. If you believe you can do it and persevere knowing that lapses aren’t failure, then you’re much likely to do it.
It’s not a punishment
Many people fail when trying to adjust behaviour or habits because they see it as depriving themselves of something pleasurable. As an example, many smokers struggle to give up because they think that they’re being forced to sacrifice something they enjoy, rather than concentrating on the positives.
Again, it seems something simple and basic, but by simply making a pros and cons list, it will help to you remind you in your weaker moments why you decided to do it in the first place. Saving money, becoming healthier, etc. One other thing that’s worth asking yourself is what is something bad that could come from not taking this action?
Ultimately, there are a lot of different personal reasons why people succeed and fail with their resolutions, but hopefully we’ve given you more of a fighting chance.