How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Resolutions can be hard to keep, but science has tips for staying on track.

The beginning of a new year is the season of resolutions for many. Every year, almost everyone has a plan to have these resolutions for themselves. Some may think that since it is a new year, these resolutions will come easily to them. But in a few weeks, most come to realize that it takes a lot more work to “become a new you.”

The biggest problem with some resolutions is that it creates an expectation that we have to change ourselves completely in order to find the satisfaction that we crave, but this is not the case. Take the example of fitness. Many fitness resolutions begin with completely changing your lifestyle and eating habits completely. Thinking this way will not get you very far, and it will be a weight on your shoulders to even try to live this way. Instead, if you’re trying to get into a more fit lifestyle, slowly start adding in small things. When you wake up in the morning, maybe go on a short 15 minute jog and do as many pushups as you can once you get home. What’s most important is to start with whatever your body can handle and slowly make things harder as you grow stronger. 

The same idea goes if your resolution is to start to eat “healthier.” Trying to throw out all the junk food and replace it with veggies and fruits will make it very difficult to stay consistent. A better way to start is simply by cutting down on how much junk food you may be taking in and replacing it with a sweet tasty fruit that you like. No matter how healthily you eat, you will always have cravings, and you should never feel guilty for sneaking in some chocolate when you get a craving for something sweeter than strawberries. Eating healthier should always make you feel better; it should never leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry. It is crucial that you remember that it is okay to treat yourself when you need an extra boost.

A new year’s resolution that I will be taking part in is drinking more water. Drinking enough water is so important for our minds and bodies, and yet so many people, including myself, struggle with drinking enough water daily. To start, I decided to always have a full bottle of water on my nightstand so that when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is finish the water bottle. I know that I will never remember to drink water unless I am reminded or told to do so. Because of this, I put alarms on my phone so that when they go off I can take a few minutes to drink a lot of water. Soon enough, this will become part of my daily routine and I won’t need alarms to remind me.

The problem with some new year’s resolutions is that people tend to think of the new year almost as a restart and forget about all their past failures in previous years, thus making it easy to go full out with resolutions that will yet again fail within the following few weeks. A study conducted at the University of Hertfordshire found that only 12% of people can keep up with their resolutions for an entire year. Being realistic, being kind to yourself even with setbacks and having someone to hold you accountable when you make a mistake will make achieving resolutions a lot easier and attainable. 

At the end of the day, new year’s resolutions are to help you become the better version of yourself and to work on that throughout the entire year. Resolutions are not a sprint but a marathon that will take trial and error so that you can find what works right for you. No matter how difficult and impossible things seem to get, it’s important to know that your goals are possible and not out of reach.