How to make your New Year’s resolutions stick

November 28, 2018 — by Angelina Chen and Rohan Kumar

Many people enjoy playing video games, feasting with family or sleeping in on New Year’s Day. Others indulge in making resolutions that will often be broken days or weeks later.

To be sure, the coming of a new year gives people a chance to restart.

But for many goal-setters, creating goals is easier and more exciting than actually taking action and working toward achieving such promises.

According to the Business Insider, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. Clearly, setting these goals is not actually effective. The question is: why?

Of course, a lack of resolve can hurt the prospects of maintaining goals. Without a certain amount of discipline, it is impossible to stay on track. Some people try to find excuses to circumvent their goals, exploiting “loopholes” in their own resolutions.

A common goal is to “eat healthier.” But when the temptation becomes too great, people often say, “It’s fine once in a while,” even though this may mean enjoying unhealthy foods every week.

Of course, a person’s discipline is not always the main problem. Often, overly drastic New Year’s resolutions are impossible to keep, which can be discouraging and lead to a relapse of bad habits. Expecting to change a long-standing habit in the span of mere days is unreasonable. Ultimately, when individuals aren’t able to realize the changes they envision, they give up on attempting to improve.

New Year’s resolutions should not require a massive change of lifestyle. For example, going from playing seven hours of video games a day to playing no video games at all would be too drastic for many. More likely than not, this will result in the people succumbing to their desires to play video games, feeling like their resolution failed, and reverting back to their usual gaming pattern. A more manageable goal would be to reduce video game time by one hour each month, requiring a much more gradual change and reducing chance of discouragement.

It is important to craft effective resolutions. Targets should be specific and measurable to prevent people from cheating themselves.

When it comes to discipline, being self-accountable for  resolutions can be challenging. Without someone impartial to supervise progress, it is easy to lie and make excuses. As a result, if possible, having a partner for accountability purposes is extremely helpful to maintaining goals throughout the year.

Though some people are able to keep their New Year’s resolutions and improve their lives for the better, many relapse to their old habits as a result of a lack of self-control or ineffective resolutions. However, by following these guidelines for setting successful goals, you might be able to make them last all year

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