Are you part of the 8%?
Every year, millions (maybe even billions) of people make New Year’s resolutions. Some plan to improve their eating habits. Others aim to up their weekly exercise quota. While others aspire to shed a few kilos. Sadly, only 8% of those who set themselves these annual goals ever achieve them. And the rest typically only stay committed until the 12th of January, according to a Strava study cited in the New York Post. That said, goals are important – they give us focus and provide direction for our lives – so here are a few of the ways you can increase your chance of success in 2020.
Stick to one resolution
This is one of those instances where less is definitely more. So, instead of overwhelming yourself with multiple goals across several areas of your life, choose one objective and give it your full attention. And if you’re lacking New Year Resolution inspiration, here’s what the 2000 people surveyed by Inc.com listed as their objectives for 2019:
- Diet or eat healthier
- Exercise more
- Lose weight
- Save more and spend less
- Learn a new skill or hobby
- Quit smoking
- Read more
- Find another job
- Drink less alcohol
- Spend more time with family and friends
Don’t be unrealistic
This may seem obvious, but in the excitement that accompanies a new year, we sometimes feel (to our disadvantage) that we’re capable of taking on the world. The key is to remain level-headed and to set goals that are within the realm of possibility. So, if you’re struggling to stay on top of your debt, for example, don’t resolve to go travelling in 2020. Instead, map out a plan to finish the year debt-free (or at least in less debt than you were at the beginning of it). Or, if you don’t have a gym membership and haven’t set foot in a gym in the last decade, don’t decide that your aim for the year is to workout at the gym five times a week. Instead, start walking or running around your neighbourhood and once/if you find yourself in a regular exercise rhythm, consider taking out a gym membership.
Adding a deadline to something definitely makes it feel more concrete and consequently, more doable. So give your New Year’s resolution (remember, you’re only making one this year) a deadline and put a plan in place to help you meet it.
As with any challenge, having incentives along the way is guaranteed to keep you motivated. So, make a list of things you don’t get to enjoy as often as you might like – having a massage, trying out a new restaurant, going away for the weekend – and include them at regular intervals throughout the year.
Finally, as you set your resolutions for 2020 and take the first steps towards achieving them, remember these wise words from American swimmer Michael Phelps (who also happens to be the most decorated Olympian ever):
“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.” —Michael PhelpsIan Schneider