If your resolutions feel like a distant memory, don’t worry! There’s still time to reach your goals this year. All it takes is a new approach and breaking them into smaller decisions.
Most Aussies have the same resolutions
Many of us made New Year’s resolutions this year, and according to this poll, most of them were quite similar. Here are the most popular resolutions for 2018:
- Improve your Fitness
- Eat Better
- Quit Smoking
- Quit Drinking
- Learn Something New
- Travel More
- Meet Someone
- Sleep More
- Get Out of Debt
If you’re already working towards one or more of these resolutions, congratulations! You’re amongst the 24% of Australians who stick to their resolutions for at least the first three months of the year.
If you’ve been putting off your resolutions – you’re not alone. A whopping 88% of people who make resolutions don’t end up achieving them.
However, they’re new ‘year’ resolutions, not new ‘month’ resolutions. There are still 10 months left for you to make good on your promise to yourself.
Why resolutions matter
Resolutions matter because they’re a promise that you made to your future self.
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Here’s why they’re important:
- You build trust. When you achieve something that really matters, you build confidence and faith in your ability to do anything. You set an example for yourself and your friends and family.
- You could save money. There are also material rewards for following through on your resolution. A resolution to be healthier can pay off with fewer medical expenses. A resolution to be better with money can mean less stress and more money for things that matter, like time with family.
- You follow your dreams. If you made any New Year’s resolutions, it’s likely you chose something that is important to you. If it were a small decision with very little impact, you wouldn’t have waited until a special moment to make it happen.
- You focus your energy. Resolutions tend to be around changes that can’t be made overnight. They’re centred around a big shift which happens when you make many small decisions over and over again until the change starts to happen. It’s this chain of everyday decisions which will lead you to achieving your resolution.
- You create a new way of life. It won’t feel natural at first because you’re working against a familiar pattern which may have been in place for a very long time. Changing direction takes time and lots of repetition.
How people achieve their resolutions
People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than those who don’t make any resolutions at all. And of the 12% of Australians who keep their resolutions, 30% do so for 9 months or longer.
Tracking progress is the single biggest success factor for those who achieve their resolutions.
Consistency helps too but is not essential. Some people find it easier to do something every day, but any day you make a choice in favour of your goals will move you one step closer to achieving them.
Other ways you can give your resolutions another chance include:
- Take it one decision at a time. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the big picture, focus on each small decision which carries you closer to your goals.
- Be kind. Brute force is no way to achieve lasting change.
- Let go of perfection. So maybe you haven’t completely given up smoking or exercised every day, but we’ll bet you’ve had fewer cigarettes or been for at least one workout since the beginning of the year? Then you’re already a step ahead of last year. Give yourself some credit, because shame will get you nowhere.
- Choose just one resolution to follow. Pick the one with the biggest results because you can’t do everything. What will have the greatest impact — spending more time with family, or answering every email?
- Understand how you build habits. Personality is a key influence on the ways people change their lifestyle, according to author Gretchen Rubin. Over 1.3 million people have taken her test to identify their tendencies and learn tactics to help them achieve their goals.
Remember, you’re the only one who chooses the day you’ll start making changes. You get to decide whether January 1 has special powers, or whether the same could be said for any other day of the year.