When setting New Year’s resolutions, we all do so with the confidence that we will actually stick to them. However after a few months, or sometimes even a few weeks, it becomes easy to slip up.
So it should come as no surprise that research shows just 8% of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions. That leaves 92% of us who break them.
To help you stay on track in 2018, here are some tips to prepare for your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Ease into it
Sometimes setting resolutions can be quite dramatic - “That’s it, I’m giving up alcohol for good!” While you may start off strong, it can become harder to stick to a resolution, especially if it’s such a strict one.
That’s why it’s a better idea to ease into the resolution. If you want to cut back on alcohol or quit cigarettes for good, reduce it at first and then go from there but don’t beat yourself up if you give into temptation. It may take some time until you kick the habit, the important thing is you don’t give up.
2. Set an achievable resolution
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Have you heard of the SMART acronym? It’s a great way to help you set an achievable goal. Here’s what it stands for:
Specific- When you set a broad goal it becomes harder to achieve. So instead of saying “I would like to pay off debt in 2018” you could say “I am going to pay off debt by setting up a direct debit from my bank account to my lender of $20 a week”.
Measurable - You should also be able to measure your goal. While it’s not very motivating to pay down debt, afterwards you’ll be able to do the things you want to like that overseas holiday. So the measurability of this goal is more financial freedom.
Attainable - Your goal should also be realistic. So you shouldn’t set up a direct debit of $100 a week, when you can only actually afford to pay $20 towards your debt a week.
Relevant – Does your resolution make a part of the bigger picture? Is your overarching goal to lose weight, in which case reducing your sugar or alcohol intake could help, as well as exercising more regularly.
Time bound - Using the same example of paying down debt. You should be able to determine how long it will be before your debt is paid down. For instance, “By making these weekly repayments, it will take me six months until my debt is gone.”
3. Do it with a friend
When you set a New Year’s resolution it’s likely someone you know, has set the same one too. So why not do it together?
Let’s use exercise as an example. A ComRes poll found exercising more was the most popular resolution at 38%, followed by losing weight at 33%. The great thing about exercise is it can easily be done with a friend or group of friends and you don’t necessarily need a gym membership either. So instead of doing that morning jog by yourself, you would find a running buddy. Or if running isn’t your thing you would join a group sport like Netball or Touch Footy.
The same can be applied to many other resolutions, whether it be smoking, drinking or eating healthy, by doing it with someone else you’ll have more accountability and will be more likely to stick to it in the long run.
Whatever your resolution is, we hope these three tips can help you prepare, meet and even exceed your goals!