A new year means a “new you.” So many of us promise ourselves that this is the year we conquer our bad habits and emerge a new person. We make a plan longer than our holiday shopping list of all the unhealthy or bad habits in our lives and try to overcome them starting January 1st. The sad truth…most of us don’t make it two weeks. Research done by Strava, a social network for athletes, analyzed over 31.5 million online global activities last January. Their findings were able to pinpoint the day that most people give up their resolution to January 12th! Another study done by the University of Scranton found that as little as 8% actually achieve their New Year’s goals, with 55% of those goals being health related.
Why we fail
So why do we fail to keep our resolutions? Here are some common mistakes we make that set us up for failure:
We don’t examine the real reason for our change.
Often, we don’t take a deeper look at the motivation for our change in the new year. We see the bad effects of the unhealthy habits from last year, but we don’t see the reasons behind our choices. We usually want a quick fix, which drives us to a short period of intense discipline that we so often give up days later.
To really make your goal stick find your true motivation for the change. Do you want to be healthier as you get older? Or are you just trying to look better? Try to imagine how your life would be better after the change. Examine the long-term benefits of making your change.
We try to do too much all at once.
Having a list of goals and resolutions isn’t a bad thing, but don’t try to make radical changes all at once. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time and so should our healthy behaviors.
Replacing the bad habits with the good requires time. Try tackling each goal one by one instead of all at once. Start small. If your goal is to exercise more, try scheduling yourself 3-4 days a week at the gym instead of 7. Find a reasonable plan that you will stick to.
Make your goals measurable and concrete. Remember, change is a process, not an event. Find a way to make small changes that you can measure the success of.
We beat ourselves up over failure.
It’s so easy to get angry with ourselves when we fail. What is harder is to take a step back and examine the barriers to our success. Remember that you are on a journey and that January 1stis just a date on the calendar. You can reset your goals at any time if you fail to keep them and you can learn from what might have caused your failure in the first place.
Maybe you need to rewrite your plan to better suit you. As we said before, after examining why you want to change, set realistic goals that you can measure. Be patient and celebrate your successes along the journey. Change is a process, not an event.
Many of us set the same goals every year to get healthier, pay off debt, make more money, etc. But maybe you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction that is damaging your life. Perhaps the habit that you are battling with has gotten to be too much and this is the year you get the help you require. Rock Recovery Center in West Palm Beach, Florida can offer you advice on next steps. Please call our 24 hour helpline or chat live with us now.