The world welcomed 2017 in just a few days ago, and with that meant many people have made or are currently making New Year's Resolution. In fact, roughly 41% of Americans usually make a resolution at the start of a new year. That's a crazy number of people! However, we all know the notorious issue with resolutions is that most people don't actually stick to them. According to statistics, only9.2% of those who set a resolution actually feel they were successful in accomplishing it.
It seems to be a common scenario: the new year hits and you want to be more fit, drink more water, volunteer more, etc. You start off good because you're hyped and then, give it a few weeks and you've stopped doing what you said you were going to do. You stop going to the gym, you stop guzzling water, and you stop visiting the local animal shelter each weekend.
Why is it so common to fall short on the resolutions we set in January? Well the truth is, it's because psychologically many people weren't actually ready to do whatever their resolution entailed. Psychologists call this "cultural procrastination," which is basically when a person knows what they're doing is bad culturally (i.e. eating fast food, smoking, etc.) so they are trying to catch up and motivate themselves using a New Year's resolution. However, in reality, they were not prepared mentally to actually change their lifestyles.
Another reason is called "the false hope syndrome." People often set resolutions that are too hard to obtain. When they realize they can't reach their goal, they give up and don't work towards it at all.
So how do you actually stick to your New Year's resolution? According to the American Psychological Association you should start small and change habits over time. Most resolutions deal with bad habits you've built up over many years, so change small things about them a little at a time. This will make your goal seem more obtainable than try to fix it all at once.
It is also advised to be vocal about your goals to others and keep a positive mindset. The APA says that the more you talk about your resolution, the more motivated you will be to accomplish it. In a way, telling others holds you accountable because you may feel like you owe it to them to follow through. Likewise, staying positive and not beating yourself up is a key to keeping a resolution. Remember, it's impossible to be perfect, and even the smallest healthy changes in your life will add to a brighter future in the long run.