We hope you had a fantastic holiday and are ready to make 2018 a year to remember! Many of us enter the new year with a handful of resolutions which often focus on losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more, etc. What’s on your list? And do you think you can see it through?
Psychology Today suggests we’re not very good at making good on our resolutions.
Many surveys suggest we are terrible at keeping New Year Resolutions, but there is something so emotionally resonant about the possibility of turning over a new leaf, combined with our awareness that we should really lead better lives, means making New Year Resolutions is an almost universal activity, just as failing to follow through with them, is practically as popular.
Kaitlin Woolley from Cornell University and Ayelet Fishbach from the University of Chicago have just published some new research investigating New Year Resolutions, and found 55.2% of resolutions were health related (exercise: 31.3%, eat healthy: 10.4%, have healthier habits: 13.5%), 34.4% were work related (save: 20.8%, get out of debt: 12.5%, learn something: 0%, get organized: 1.0%), and 5.2% were social goals (spend time with family: 2.1%, help others: 0%, enjoy life: 3.1%).
The study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that participants believed both enjoyment and importance mattered for how successful they would be at sticking with their resolution in the future.
Fox News listed a few ways to help you up the chances of following through on your 2018 resolutions.
- Make small, attainable goals (Make your resolution one that is manageable to obtain and almost seems “easy” to start)
- Get specific (Rather than a vague resolution to “eat healthier,” get specific about what you want to accomplish and set a clear initiative on how to achieve it)
- Find an accountability buddy or group (It’s so much easier to accomplish a goal when you have a good support system)
- Safeguard your environment (If you make healthy foods easily accessible throughout your kitchen and workplace, it’s more likely you will eat them first)
- Make it personal (In addition to what you want to accomplish, think about why it’s important to you)
- Focus on progress, not perfection (You will have ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track)
NBC News spoke with Timothy Pychyl, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University, about why so many of us find it so hard to stick to our plan.
“We typically make resolutions around our most challenging habits, such as losing weight, changing our diet, exercising more or stopping smoking,” Pychyl said.
First of all, we’re not always as committed to those resolutions as we need to be to actually be motivated to stick with them, explains Pychyl, whose research focuses on procrastination and goal pursuit. (There’s a difference between changes we think we should make as opposed to changes we actually want to make.) And instead of setting discrete, measurable goals for ourselves, we often set broad intentions, like “exercise more,” he adds. “We don’t think clearly enough about how we will implement this change.”
Share your thoughts on any resolutions you may have made and how you plan to follow through on them! The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) has a resolution and we hope you can help us with it. We want to find new ways to help move us toward our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation! Let us know how you think we can get there…..and have a happy, safe and fabulous new year!