Our 5 best tips for your New Year’s resolutions
With each new year comes new goals and resolutions. Did you know that New Year’s resolutions fail at a rate of around 80%, with most abandoned by mid-February?
We want to help you with your New Year’s resolutions as much as you want to reach them, so we’ve created a list of five simple tips that can be used for all resolutions – regardless if they’re related to sports, your career or any other part of life.
One of the main problems with strong resolutions is the way they are formulated. Vague goals such as “being more active,” “spending more time with the family” or “eating fewer sweets" all leave too much room for interpretation and subjectivity.
Instead, resolutions and goals should be as specific and measurable as possible. A good example would be to “run for an hour three times per week,” as it gives a more measurable and consistent target for you to reach in comparison to having the goal of simply “running more this year.”
Even if your resolution is formulated in a perfectly specific and quantifiable way, it will be so much more difficult to reach if it’s unrealistic for you. If you haven’t been physically active in a while, then creating the goal of three hour-long runs every week is not only far-fetched but also potentially harmful.
Resolutions should start with smaller goals that are more compatible with your current lifestyle. For the example mentioned above, it might be better to start by running two or three times per week for 15-20 minutes before eventually working your way up to an hour.
Bonus tip: Use one of the fantastic mobile apps available to your advantage. For runners, there are many excellent apps that suggest gradually starting beginners before increasing running distance and frequency to reach your goal.
Make it a habit!
This tip perfectly falls in line with the one before. Small changes are more easily included in your everyday life and can be attached to habits you already have – making them habits as well.
Subtle changes to your prep can make each goal seem a little easier, such as placing your running gear next to your bed before falling asleep. By doing this, getting into workout clothes as soon as you wake up can put you in the right mindset to begin the day, and all it takes is two to three minutes of prep the night before.
Sometimes, circumstances out of your control can hinder you from reaching your goals. For example, icy, wintery roads and snow can quickly change your motivation to go for a run.
In situations like this, always look for safe alternatives, such as swimming at your local indoor swimming pool or running on an exercise machine at your home or gym. Giving yourself multiple ways to work on your goals can be the difference between sticking with your resolution and losing it during these unpredictable moments.
Write it down!
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions is to simply write your goals down. It is important to do this the "traditional way," using paper and pen instead of your computer or smartphone. Studies suggest that writing by hand activates significantly more brain areas than typing words onto a screen, and this can lead to your plan being much more meaningful and easier to stick with.
Bonus tip: Tell people about your goal by posting your handwritten resolutions on a wall, on the refrigerator or online. Studies also show people who make their goals public are more likely to stick to them.