According to a recent YouGov survey, while 31 percent of the women and 33 percent of the men polled indicated that they had no interest in making resolutions, the vast majority were still hoping that this would finally be the year they made some important life changes. The most common resolutions? Saving money, eating healthier, exercising more, and taking more time for self-care.
While most respondents’ goals were anything but far-fetched, research suggests that the vast majority will have ditched their resolutions within 12 months. In fact, by the second week of February, 80 percent of people will have already ditched their resolutions, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota. Other research is even more grim, indicating that most people will only make it a few weeks before their willpower starts flagging. According to athletic social networking site Strava, January 12th is the day that marks the biggest drop in people adhering to those resolutions they’d made less than a fortnight earlier.
The good news? If you make it past the year mark, you might just be able to keep it up for good. According to research conducted at the University of Scranton, after two years, 19 percent of those who made New Year’s resolutions were still sticking by them. However, even among those who succeeded at keeping their resolutions, a staggering 53 percent reported slipping up at least once.
So, what’s standing between us and our fitter, healthier, and happier selves? When the initial enthusiasm for your new lifestyle has faded, a little social support can be just the thing you need to pick things back up.
“Most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions because the focus and excitement that existed on January 1st has passed,” says career expert Heather Monahan, AKA Boss in Heels. “Tell one person what you are doing, set reminders for yourself in your phone and computer, visualize how this commitment will effect you in 30 days and put an image somewhere to remind you of your future self celebrating this victory. Not only will you achieve your resolution but you will also be building your confidence. Take action now, your future self is going to be thanking you!”
However, if you still find your willpower waning, the solution is simple: stick with it, no matter how many times you stumble. According to registered dietician and nutritionist Vanessa Rissetto, if you want to see your resolutions come to fruition, expect a marathon, not a sprint.
“Patience is a virtue we all lack. No one gives anything any time. If you gained 12 pounds over the holiday season why do you think you can lose it in a week if it took basically 12 weeks to gain? If people just didn’t give up and trusted the process they would fare better,” says Rissetto. “No quick fixes—just hard work on the road to success.” And for some great advice for actually sticking to your resolutions, check out the 40 Best Ways to Develop New Habits After 40.
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