Making New Year’s resolutions are a tradition for many, but the reality is, only 8% will achieve them and 80% of them fail by February. So why make them? Here’s why it’s smart to make one this year.

#1 – Honesty

  • Resolutions usually involve self-improvement and the key to improvement is being honest about your current condition. A true assessment will help map out your action plan. This intention will contribute to your happiness, positivity, and fulfillment.

#2 – Hope

  • Resolutions instill hope and optimism. Hope is a powerful motivator and can drive you to act. Believing that tomorrow can be better than today will contribute to your mental health.

#3 – Inspiration

  • When you strive to be a better form of your current self, you tend to inspire others. People learn from the behavior of others (whether they realize it or not).

If your New Year’s resolutions have been a source of failure year after year, here are some tips to help make them stick in 2022.

1. Get 7 Hours of Sleep*

  • You cannot form new habits when you’re tired. Period. 
  • The human brain craves routine and resists change because it doesn’t have to work as hard when a habit is old and established. 
  • That’s why it’s so easy to relapse, and so easy to abandon your new resolutions when you’re worn out. 
  • Remember, the brain follows the path of least resistance and cannot distinguish between a “good” habit and a “bad” habit.

*Ideally, get 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per day.

2. Be Specific

  • Resolutions fail because they’re too vague. When they’re vague, they don’t require commitment. For example, if you want to start exercising, schedule a specific time of day to do it, the place, type of exercise, and the duration or distance vs. saying, “I want to exercise more.”

3. Monitor and Measure Your Progress 

  • Progress is a positive “reward”. For example, if your goal involves exercise, then embrace how you feel more energetic, less stressed, and empowered from the accomplishment.
  • When it comes to forming a new habit, the rewards teach your brain which actions are worth repeating.

4. Commit to 30 Days

  • It takes time to make a new behavior stick, but you’ll increase the chances if you commit to doing it daily for 30 days. The goal is consistency.
  • Consider the first 30 days as the foundation for creating a new habit. 
  • When you make a resolution, you probably intend to follow through for 365 days and beyond, but if you concentrate all your efforts into these first 30 days, it is more doable.

5. Own It

  • Resolutions often fail because they’re made based on what someone else (such as your spouse, doctor, or parent) is telling you to change. 
  • Be sure your New Year’s resolution is a goal YOU want to achieve. That is, it’s not based on what you “should do” or “have to do”, but instead, based on something you WANT to do.

6. Keep It Simple

  • Don’t make your new goal too complicated, otherwise, it won’t be sustainable. Keep the steps to a minimum. For example, if you’re committed to riding your bike every day, taking a ride around the neighborhood is a lot simpler than packing it up and cycling at a distant location.
  • One reason resolutions fail is because most people are initially bubbling over with motivation and enthusiasm, and goals become overly ambitious.

Karen’s Fit Tip: Even if you haven’t kept your resolutions in the past, it’s a good idea to make them anyway. Most resolutions are about self-improvement and the intentions alone instill hope and optimism.

What’s your resolution this year?

Karen Owoc

I’m a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinical Exercise Physiologist certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, KRON 4's weekly health expert, speaker, and author of my book on functional longevity, “Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100".

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you Karen. Wonderful advice.

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