We have finally started a new year of 2020 which means that everyone has begun to think about their New Year’s Resolution. A New Year’s resolution is a tradition where people make commitments to improve themselves, do better, and to change bad habits. However, research has shown that around one quarter of people give up their resolutions after just one week, while fewer than one in 10 will maintain their goal to the end of the year. So, what happened? There might be three important factors in how people treat their New Year’s Resolutions.
The first point discusses “how specific New Year’s Resolutions are to the individual. If someone makes the resolution to lose weight or exercise more, the goal is too vague. This means that the person will have a higher chance of failing because there is no adequate way to keep track of their progress. To resolve this factor, using a planner/diary to discuss how to go about the resolution on week-by-week or day-by-day basis. By doing this, it adds a time limit on the resolution to show the progress towards and away from the goal.
The second reason points out how people frame their New Year’s Resolutions as something negative. This is one of the interesting reasons for not achieving our resolutions because it shows how often people think about their resolutions. When someone makes the commitment to not eat junk food, the person focuses on why they cannot eat junk food instead of focusing on eating healthier snacks. This same thinking process works for sleeping as well. Someone agrees to sleep more as a goal; however, this person does not maintain the goal because they focus on the other responsibilities that they may have to do such as maintaining adequate projects, assignments, or extracurriculars.
The final point discusses the importance of making goals for oneself. For example, a person will focus on what the goal is instead of the why which means they will set up unreasonable expectations for achieving those goals. The goal should be realistic as well as management which refers to small, makeable chunks instead of large, challenging pieces. Also, people should understand that goals will take time to be achieved. On average, it takes about 66-90 days before people develop a new healthy habit which shows how the human brain will take time before it rewires itself with the new habit.
As someone who started their New Year’s Resolution on January 1st, I was not aware of the external factors that affect our resolutions throughout the year. It makes sense such as openly vague goals, lack of patience, and how people frame their goals. It is a new year and I hope this helps people approach their goals and maintain their resolution throughout this new year.