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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

New Year's Resolutions

It's January 2nd. Did you swear off sugar, buy a gym membership, open a savings account or speed dial a therapist? If you did, you are among most Americans who set goals for the new year. In a survey conducted by Forbes magazine, improving our health is the top New Year's resolution. The most popular goals for 2024 include:

  • Improved fitness (48%)

  • Improved finances (38%)

  • Improved mental health (36%)

  • Lose weight (34%)

  • Improved diet (32%)

In general, apps are the most popular tool used to maintain accountability. The most popular tools are:

  • Diet program (46%)

  • Gym membership (43%)

  • Habit tracking app (40%)

  • Diet/calorie counter app (33%)

  • Meditation app (33%)

In this survey, a whopping 80% of respondents felt confident they could meet their goals, while only 6% had doubts. History shows; however, that most people fall off the wagon a few weeks after the New Year starts. In fact, failing at New Year’s resolutions is so common that there’s even a slew of (unofficial) dates commemorating such failures—some sources cite “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” as January 17 while others denote the second Friday in January as “Quitter’s Day.”

So how do you keep your goals for the New Year? Here's some easy steps to follow:

1.) Small improvements. Most goals require changing our behavior to break bad habits. It takes about 10 weeks to break a habit. The trick to setting a goal is to be realistic and break down the goal into small, manageable actions. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, you could start by taking a 15 minute walk every other day. As you improve, increase it to 30 minutes, then 45 or 60 by week 10. Setting small daily goals will help you achieve your long term goals.

2.) Give yourself credit. It's hard to break a habit or start a new routine. You only live one day at a time, so set your goal for just that day and don't stress about the future. If you fall off the wagon, forgive yourself and get back on track the next day.

3.) Keep a journal. Writing down your intentions also helps you keep your commitment to yourself. You might want to start by keeping a journal, or downloading an app that has you record your daily activity. This way you stay accountable to yourself and you can look back at the progress you have made.

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

Brad Paisley

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