New Year Resolutions, So Hard to Keep: 4 tips to help you stay faithful to this year's resolution

Updated: Jan 28

January is typically the month many people put up their best acts, but as months pass by, continuing it becomes increasingly difficult at least for most people. By February or in rare cases March, many would have already returned to their old habits. This vicious cycle continues every year.


Here are 4 tips to help you follow your January resolutions, even if you have already failed:


1. Focus on one goal at a time, and have an implementation plan

Your new resolution is not a plan, it's only a desired future state. Like virtually every successful achiever, it pays to have a good plan. But your plan should focus on tackling one resolution at a time. Bad habits are hard to break — and they’re impossible to break if we try to break them all at once.” So aiming to hit the gym five times a week, eating vegetables in every meal, and reading a book per week is often just setting yourself up for failure.


If you choose to focus on just going to the gym five times a week, what plan do you have to help you achieve that? Have you found and registered in a gym most suitable for your needs and schedule? Do you have an accountability partner? Have you cleared your schedule to allow you go to the gym during a particular time in the day? If no, you need a well-thought out and feasible implementation plan.


2. Take it easy with work

A researcher, Baba Shiv, conducted an experiment and found that people who are mentally, physically, and emotionally over-worked are more likely to succumb to temptation. In his experiment, he presented subjects with a memory task; one group’s task was significantly harder than the other group’s task. After the task, they were given the choice between chocolate cake and fruit salad. Those who performed the more difficult memory task were much more likely to choose the chocolate cake.


Therefore, the harder your work engagement, the higher your cognitive load — making it much harder to resist that unhealthy dessert or the stick of cigarette.


3. Evaluate your progress regularly, and be open-minded

Research shows that self-assessment plays a big role in being productive. It is both an opportunity to genuinely appraise progress and celebrate the small victories. This way, motivation can be sustained till the end. Being receptive to new knowledge, especially when progress is slow, is also required to help you learn and adapt to better ways to increase your will power for accomplishing your resolution.


4. Eat well and healthy

In case you do not know, the human brain feeds on glucose obtained from food. Research shows that displaying self-control requires relatively large amounts of glucose. Therefore, you are less likely to have the mental energy to resist that urge or continue the task when glucose to the brain is low. If you do not eat well, it's not only a matter of time before you return to your old habits.

Photo Credit: Inc.com

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Still craving for more, check out: BrainWorld and Wall Street Journal

Article Credit: Michael Adesanya

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