You’re not alone if you’ve ever abandoned a New Year’s resolution a month or two into the year. Whether your commitment was to exercising, dieting, ditching a bad habit or picking up a new hobby, you surely went into the challenge with good intentions. Staying consistent can be difficult, though. Coming up short on past New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t stop you from setting a new one in 2022. You just need to approach it differently, and we’ll try to help you do that with the following tips.
Learn from the past
Don’t view a New Year’s Resolution you gave up on in the past as a failure; view it as a lesson learned. As you hatch a plan for 2022, consider what went wrong in the past. Where did you falter? If, for instance, your resolution was to go to the gym five days a week and after a couple of weeks it felt monotonous, switch things up this time. Try mixing in some instructor-led classes. Or start slow and build up to your goal by going to the gym three days a week in January, followed by four in February and finally five in March.
Map out a plan
Now is the time to sit down and and outline your goals. If you want to clean up your financial habits, for instance, jot down your spending tendencies from 2021 and create a budget for 2022. If you’re setting a diet-oriented goal, do some research to figure out what kind of diet best complements your eating tendencies and any condition you may have.
Frame your resolution positively
Never underestimate the power of your mind. Studies have shown that positively framing the outcome of your goal rather than tying a negative or pessimistic outlook to it can boost your persistence and performance. For example, if your goal is to quit drinking alcohol, you should be driven by the health benefits, the money you’ll save and the better you’ll feel in the morning after nights you may have otherwise drunk. Thinking about how much you might miss drinking socially could make you resent the resolution.
Coined by behavior researchers during a 2014 study, temptation bundling is an exercise in willpower designed to pair an activity you enjoy with one you may not be so stoked to partake in, which would include a new year’s resolution in this case. For example, hold off on listening to your favorite weekly podcast and save it for when you attack a home project. Reserve your daily Instagram and TikTok scrolling for your 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Watch your favorite show on Netflix only while eating your healthy lunch or dinner.
Embrace the buddy system
Exercising with a friend generally increases motivation and creates accountability. Setting joint resolutions with a friend or co-worker can have the same effect. You’re less likely to eat donuts for breakfast every day at the office if the co-worker you set a diet-oriented resolution with is there to see it. If your goal is to start doing yoga, you’re more likely to commit to it if your friend is attending the same yoga classes. You don’t even necessarily have to set a joint resolution with a friend; just find someone who will be supportive. Simply shooting a friend a text to let them know you are about to embark on achieving your resolution that day can help hold you accountable.
If you hit a wall on your resolution at some point, there’s no reason to call it quits. Go easy on yourself if you’re losing steam and consider the progress you’ve made to that point. Implementing a big change into your life may be a bit unnatural at first, so don’t fret about taking a week off here or there to regroup and recharge. Related:
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