New year resolutions are customary. After a month of excess and indulgence, the new year is a time when we set goals for ourselves which are quite unachievable and in case we end up achieving them, we are left to wonder, were they were ambitious enough in the first place? With the advent of new year, we are bombarded with articles telling us various resolutions we can take, some articles even going as far as saying, “It will change your life forever.”
But how many of us keep our resolutions? There comes a time when the excitement of a new year burns out and we give up on our resolutions. There is a small percentage of people who actually get to see through their new year resolution. For the rest of us, it kind of blows!
As per Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D. from the University of Scranton Psychology, The estimate is that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved.
But why is it that new year resolutions fail? The answer to this is because more often than not, our new year resolutions involve either starting a new habit or changing an existing one- healthy eating, working out, quitting smoking. The problem with these habits is that these are automatic conditioned responses. Habits are sticky and hard to change. It takes way more than just setting resolutions to bring about a change in the habits.
Here is what you can do to stick to your new year resolutions which involve changing old habit or forming new ones-
Form Tiny Habits
Pick up a small, easy and doable action, I call it ‘a tiny habit’. “Getting exercise” is not tiny but “taking staircase instead of the elevator” is. “Eating healthier” is not tiny but “taking a smoothie for breakfast” is. These tiny habits are not as intimidating as your big new year resolutions and don’t involve a lot of changes in your habits all at once. Pick up one small action every week and you would have a better probability of keeping your resolutions.
Attach you ‘Tiny Habit’ to an ‘Old Habit’
Take a well-established habit and attach your new tiny habit to this already established habit. It might be a habit to read the news in the morning, add the habit of sipping on a delicious smoothie or eat overnight soaked almonds.
If you do these things for 21 days in a row, which is the number of days it takes for a habit to form as per conventional wisdom, you can keep your new year resolutions without much anxiety and far lesser efforts.