It’s possible that the number of people attending your yoga classes has increased in the last week, and that many of your friends and family have abandoned pasta in favour of salads and lean proteins. Now that the year 2020 has arrived, millions of people around the world have decided to ring in the new year by committing to a set of health-related goals. The overwhelming majority of respondents (71% in the Inc. survey) stated that their top New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier or go on a diet (54 percent).
Casino cites a survey that found that younger people are more likely than older generations to make New Year’s resolutions. Eighty-seven percent of those polled made a New Year’s resolution, with those aged 18 to 24 being the most likely. However, only 51% of those over the age of 55 followed the custom.
According to University of Scranton researchers, only about 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. However, the many positive changes that participants may experience throughout the year, even if they fail to keep their decrees at some point, are not always taken into account by this specific success metric.
Women are more likely than men to resolve to improve their financial situation. According to the Casino data, 23% of women surveyed want to save more money in the coming year, while only 11% of men surveyed have the same goal.
You can still make a New Year’s resolution. It’s a good idea to reflect on the previous year’s successes and growth in the first few weeks of the new year, as well as consider the habits you’d like to break or new routines you’d like to adopt in the coming months. We’ve compiled data on the most effective resolutions, as well as suggestions for simple ways to improve your life.
Many people see their new year’s resolutions as a form of punishment as a way to make amends for their holiday overindulgences. If the New Year is viewed as an opportunity for introspection and growth, the idea of making changeable, low-stakes changes that improve one’s well-being can be energising and uplifting rather than discouraging.
Why do so few people follow through on their New Year’s resolutions?
According to Inc., the top New Year’s resolutions in the United States were dietary and exercise changes. It’s a good idea to channel your New Year’s excitement into making positive changes to your diet, but lofty resolutions like these can be difficult to keep.
“Unrealistic expectations are a major reason resolutions fail,” said Carly Moores, a doctor of nutrition. This appeared in the New York Post. Making promises to yourself at the start of the year is a sure way to disappoint yourself. It is preferable to make incremental improvements to existing systems rather than enacting broad regulations that are impossible to enforce.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, for example, one more serving of greens per day is a more reasonable and achievable goal. Instead of overwhelming yourself with a long list of resolutions, try focusing on just one simple, attainable goal to improve your chances of success in the new year.
If you make an effort to improve your diet by including spinach or other vegetables at lunchtime, you won’t feel as guilty about indulging in sweets as often. This is because you’ve been socialised to feel bad after eating sugary foods. If you associate positive feelings with your new, healthy habits, you’ll be more likely to stick with it rather than give up when you fall short of your goal.
Additional, realistic resolutions to help you succeed in the coming year
The American Psychological Association recently published a guide to keeping your New Year’s resolutions. Goals should be realistic, and efforts should be focused on changing one behaviour at a time, as these authors emphasise. To increase your chances of success, avoid making drastic changes to many aspects of your life at once.
They also emphasise the importance of telling one’s loved ones about one’s goals, both to gain community support and motivation and to increase the number of people who will hold one accountable for one’s actions. They also make an important point, namely that most people give up after only a few mistakes. Instead of giving up every time you make a mistake, consider how far you’ve come and how you can continue to improve.
If increasing the intensity of your exercise routine or reducing the number of carbohydrates you eat does not appear to be the most fruitful goal for you, we have compiled a list of alternative New Year’s resolutions that you can consider adopting.
Boosting Your Health by Cutting Back on Alcohol (Even Just for a Month)
The concept of “Dry January” first gained traction in the United Kingdom, with participants promising to refrain from drinking alcohol for the entire month of January. Taking a break from alcohol for a set period of time, especially after the holiday season’s party-filled months, can help participants reset their relationship with alcohol and develop healthier drinking habits for the rest of the year.
This is the program’s fundamental principle. A month’s sabbatical is just long enough to give you time to reset your habits, but not so long that it feels punishing or impossible.
According to a Self magazine article, abstaining from alcohol for one month can improve sleep quality, reduce calorie intake, stabilise mood, and boost the immune system. Some attendees will also benefit greatly from the opportunity to practise dealing with emotionally challenging social or personal situations while sober.
Increase your positive self-talk.
Even the simplest New Year’s resolution can have a big impact on your happiness and well-being in the coming year. If you’re aware that you have a negative outlook on life or that you have a habit of being overly harsh on yourself for minor transgressions, you might make it a goal this year to practise more positive self-talk. If this describes you, you may need to work on this.
Positive self-talk has been linked to improvements in performance, pain tolerance, cardiovascular health, overall health, sense of well-being, mortality risk, and emotional state, according to a Healthline article. One of the most important factors in this connection is that people who engage in positive self-talk are generally happier with their lives.
In this Healthline article, we learn how to recognise destructive cycles of negative self-talk and replace them with healthier, more practical perspectives. They emphasise self-awareness, the use of positive affirmations, the ability to laugh at oneself, and the company of upbeat others as some of the most important techniques.
What Can Affirmations Do For You?
If you’ve realised you have a habit of criticising some aspect of your personality or appearance, incorporating positive affirmations into your daily routine is a simple and concrete New Year’s resolution you can make. Set a reminder on your phone to remind yourself to repeat a positive affirmation to yourself at the start of the day, or at any other time that is convenient for you. When you take the time to be mindful of your thoughts and deliberate in what you say to yourself first thing in the morning, you can set the tone for the rest of the day, which is why scheduling affirmations can be beneficial in breaking negative thought cycles.
Including a New Hobby in Your Existing Routine
Taking up a new hobby is a fantastic way to start the year if you want to meet new people and learn something new. Many of us lead hectic, busy lives, so taking up a new hobby may appear to be a luxury. Numerous studies, however, have shown that engaging in a favourite pastime is beneficial to your mental health in a variety of ways, including lowering stress, improving mood, and decreasing your risk of developing depression.
Furthermore, they enrich our lives by exposing us to new ideas, broadening our circle of friends and acquaintances, and allowing us to engage in more enjoyable activities.