The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to establish some New Year’s resolutions!
This time-honored tradition is believed to have begun with the ancient Babylonians nearly 4000 years ago and signals personal hopes and aspirations for the year ahead.
But here is the thing—it is easy to make new year’s resolutions but a whole lot harder to keep them. And while this can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, we’re here to tell you that you are not the problem. The problem lies in how the majority of us set these New Year’s goals in the first place.
Whether your goal is to read more books, spend more time outdoors, or develop healthier eating habits, the following psychological tips and tricks can help you reach your desired outcomes!
If your New Year’s resolution is to keep your New Year’s resolutions, here are some ways to get there!
New Year’s Resolutions By The Numbers
We all have the best intentions when setting New Year’s resolutions and they are often easy to maintain right out of the gate. But if you typically find yourself slipping back into your old patterns by mid-February, you are far from alone.
In December of 2020, 188.9 million adult Americans, or 74.02% of the population, were determined to make resolutions for 2021. Despite 74.72% of Americans with resolutions believing at the outset that their resolution is attainable, most will fall short of their goals or just lose interest.
In fact, studies seem to indicate that 80% of New Year’s resolutions will not be met. A report from the fitness app Strava suggests that most people don’t make it past January 19!
Instead of considering this to be a bad thing, at Harvest Snaps, we’ve decided to focus on the fact that so many people resolve, each year, to improve some element of their lives in one way or another. Striving to be better can’t ever be a bad thing!
The top six categories for New Year’s resolutions are:
Interestingly, the focus of New Year’s resolutions tends to be generational. Which makes sense. As we age, our goals, lifestyle, and focus may change. While 53.12% of Millennials plan to focus on money matters, 62.50% of Gen Z-ers will focus on self-improvement, and health is the primary focus for Gen X-ers and Boomers. This is a lot of room for a lot of different goals and a lot of successes and setbacks.
So, if you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to stick with your resolutions, no matter the category, here is some advice that can help you get the job done!
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
To support you in your efforts, we’ve put together this list of easy-to-follow tips! If you’ve always wondered how to keep your New Year’s resolutions, here’s your answer:
1) Limit the Number of Resolutions
The New Year creates an artificial desire to start fresh. January 1 is a great time to reboot something or to set a goal. But when you really think about it, it is a rather arbitrary date. When you get down to it, New Year’s Day isn’t any different than any other day. But it is one to which we have applied expectations and personal pressure. This is why we often make multiple New Year’s resolutions.
Well, less is more!
Focusing on one New Year’s goal improves your chances of success. Creating new habits (or breaking old ones) takes focus and a continued effort. If you set too many goals, it is likely that you will not meet them. Or at least not meet them as completely as you had hoped.
Progress on a single goal will increase confidence and self-belief. If you have set a large goal, consider breaking it into smaller, more manageable, mini-goals.
2) Be Specific
Being vague is common this time of year. People resolve to “get in shape,” “lose weight,” or “be more productive.” Those are all excellent New Year’s resolutions. But, they are not very specific.
If a goal is too vague, how can you know when you’ve reached the end?
Instead, choose a specific, concrete, measurable goal. Resolve to lose 10 pounds, train to run a half marathon, establish a daily or weekly task list.
Having a specific New Year’s goal allows you to put a plan in motion!
3) Plan Your Goals
Think about your New Year’s resolution before you commit to it. Make sure it is something you feel strongly about. The more emotionally invested you are, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Then, make a plan!
Take some time to write down:
- The actions you will take
- The motivation behind the goal
- Obstacles you may face
- How you will overcome the obstacles
Taking these steps will help keep you motivated, focused, and moving forward.\
4) Start with Baby Steps
New Year’s resolutions tend to be BIG. And it’s understandable, really. You have the whole year ahead. But, you can’t run before you know how to walk.
To maintain motivation, start with small actions or baby steps. If you try to do too much too soon, you may feel overwhelmed and abandon your plans.
If your resolution is to eat healthier, it is not necessary to do a complete dietary 180 on New Year’s Day. Start by making small, healthier choices. Clean and reorganize your pantry or choose healthier snacks instead of your usual go-tos.
This is not a slow start, it is a smarter start. Each of these small steps you complete will make it easier for you to stick to your resolutions. Once you’ve completed the first steps, you can progress to the next steps. And on and on until you reach your goal!
5) Try to Avoid Repeating Past Resolutions
If you have set a New Year’s Resolution in the past and have not managed to keep it, try a new one this time around.
If you believe you can accomplish something, you will. But if you’ve already struggled with something, your confidence and self-belief may be lacking.
You do not have to completely abandon past resolutions, but you should, at the very least, reexamine them.
Look at your past attempts and determine what worked and what didn’t. What were your obstacles? How can you better address them this time?
This type of introspection will inform your planning stage, giving you a better foundation for actually achieving your New Year’s resolution.
6) Remember that Change Takes Time
Change takes time. There are popular beliefs that suggest it takes 21 days to form a habit. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and there really are no set time frames for changing behavior.
But remember, the habits you are attempting to alter were likely developed over a long period of time. And during that time, you reinforced the habit each time you performed it.
Be patient with yourself. Know that each step you take towards your New Year’s resolution is a step in the right direction. Progress may be slow but it is still progress.
7) Learn and Adapt
Obstacles play a big role in people abandoning their New Year’s resolutions. But they don’t have to.
Use setbacks as learning opportunities. Don’t beat yourself but do take a step back and look at what happened.
What were the circumstances of the setback? What could you do differently next time? Your answer to these questions will help you adapt your plan to meet your actual experience.
Remember, the path forward isn’t always dead straight. Sometimes you need to take a detour or two to get to where you’re going. There is nothing wrong with taking a scenic route!
Pro tip: Keep a resolutions journal. Track your successes and your misses. This will help you find motivation when you need it, and troubleshoot setbacks when you have them. Your journal entries don’t need to be long. They just need to provide enough context so you can understand what’s taking place and use that understating to inform future decisions.
8) Seek Support
Establishing a solid support system is a great way to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track.
Working with other people provides a sense of camaraderie that can keep you going, even in the most difficult moments. It’s always easier to take action when you’re also having fun, right?
So, if your goal is to run a half-marathon, join a running group. Enroll in charity fun runs to get some practice and experience. Get your friends and family involved.
If healthier eating is your goal, consider consulting a nutritionist or dietician and working towards a food plan that is specific to your needs.
For New Year’s resolutions that are uniquely personal, consider sharing your plans with a trusted friend or close family member. These people can support you in the process. Let them in on your objectives so they can celebrate your wins and support you through any obstacles!
9) Focus on Your Motivation
The farther you get from the excitement of New Year’s Eve, the harder it is to remember the specific “why” of your New Year’s resolution.
And, make sure that you never lose sight of your motivation! Confidence and motivation are high when you’re starting out just because you’ve yet to face a challenge. The more challenges that pop up, the easier it is to just say, “forget it,” and walk away.
Focusing your attention on your motivation will trigger a reminder that no matter the struggle you currently face, the ultimate payoff will be worth it.
Try, wherever possible, to avoid surface-level motivation. These types of motivations don’t usually hit an emotional chord making them easy to ignore.
For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to lose 10 pounds, and your motivation is “to look better in a swimsuit,” try to dig a little deeper.
What is behind that swimsuit motivation? You might really want to lose 10 pounds so you can feel better physically and emotionally. You may want to lose 10 pounds to look and feel healthier. While looking great in a swimsuit may be important to you, finding out why it is important to you will help you identify your true motivation.
What’s more, “to look better in a swimsuit” is a very vague motivation. As with choosing your New Year’s resolutions, the more specific you are with your motivations, the more successful you will be.
10) Keep Going!
New Year’s resolutions are not to set it and forget it. You need to keep going. You need to keep working.
Maybe you stop for a few weeks, maybe you fall off for a few months. It’s okay, just start again.
If your resolution plan isn’t working, create a new one. There are no rules here. And this is an arbitrary timeline.
It is okay to adjust midway through. In fact, it is probably better if you do! As your resolution becomes habit, or you get closer to reaching your goal, adjustments will be necessary.
People often feel guilt and shame around abandoning their New Year’s resolutions so we’re here to tell you that there is no need! You’re human, you’re allowed to get off track. Simply reset, and keep going.
Even if you do not meet your larger goals, any progress towards them is progress. Didn’t actually run that half marathon but you managed to run three 5k races on the year, count that as a win and keep going! Those successes will enable you to actually run that half marathon. Does it really matter if it is more than 365 days from your initial resolution?
Keep Your Resolutions With Harvest Snaps By Your Side
For many of us, setting New Year’s resolutions is the easy part. Keeping them is the challenge.
But, by following the tips laid out above, you can significantly increase your chances of success.
Remember, the journey is yours and how you embark on that journey is entirely up to you. Create a plan for yourself that speaks to your unique situation and motivations, and you’re well on your way!
Lean on your support system when you find yourself struggling to continue. And at Harvest Snaps, we’re proud to be a brand you can bring along for the ride!
We have successfully resolved to provide quality, nutrition, and explosive flavor in every handful. Our snacks are always baked, never fried, and always list veggies as the number one ingredient!
We believe healthier living starts with fuelling your body the right way and we believe in you and your New Year’s resolutions.
Find Harvest Snaps near you and start next year off on the right foot!