The Psychology of New Year’s Resolutions

The Psychology of New Year’s Resolutions

We all create New Year’s Resolutions every year, yet we rarely follow them. According to various studies, less than 10% of adults end up achieving their New Year’s Resolutions. About half of all adults create them in the first place, though. This isn’t a secret. When we fail to meet our resolutions, most of us blame our laziness or a lack of determination. While that’s true in part, it’s also due to the unrealistic expectations people set for themselves.

The Most Common New Year’s Resolutions

Among the most common New Year’s Resolutions are exercising and losing weight, quitting smoking and drinking, and saving money. While even one of these can be hard for one person, it’s the setting of multiple goals that eventually causes multiple setbacks.

False Hope Syndrome

This is a misconception that most people have about the ease of their goals. They usually don’t ponder about the consequences, determination, and sacrifices that are involved with achieving their goals. While getting up to do a few crunches or running a few minutes daily seem trivial, quitting drinking is not.

This is why so many smokers and drinkers relapse completely. It’s also why those who strive to eat healthy usually have two or three cheat days a week without planning to.

Best Ways to Achieve New Year’s Resolutions

Focus on One Realistic Thing

It’s better to focus on one thing at a time. If you’re going to exercise every day, don’t mix in another resolution. Also, set realistic goals. You’re not going to lose 50 pounds in 1 month. Try to slowly achieve your goals instead of going all out on one day.

Work SMART

Set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These SMART resolutions will help you track progress and achieve them in a scientific manner. Be as specific and as controlling of your goals as possible. Setting vague deadlines won’t help you achieve much.

Tell Someone Else or Have Them Join In

Finally, if you can tell someone else about your goal and have them join in, you’ll be more successful. Accomplishing a resolution with a friend is not only more enjoyable, it pushes you to finish your goals.

If you follow these helpful tips, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your New Year’s Resolutions.