Getting that New Year’s Resolution to Stick all Year Long

With the holidays of 2014 drawing to a close, and the promises of 2015 taking hold, it is time to ring in the New Year and think of ways to improve on the previous! Of course, this means it’s time for the New Year’s Resolutions to begin. If we’re honest with ourselves, how long do we plan on keeping our resolutions? Let’s take a closer look:

The University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology states that the number one New Year’s Resolution from 2014 was to “lose weight.” A few of these other classics may sound familiar to you: “quit smoking,” “get fit,” “drink less alcohol,” “eat more fruits and vegetables..” All of the above are the most common resolutions year after year; however, after making these New Year’s vows, there are only 8% of dedicated Americans who actually accomplish their resolutions! The problem is that we need to develop the mindset and beneficial habits to accomplish our goals, without viewing our once hopeful resolution as a chore or tedious task. The 21 day habit is the answer we have been searching for to better these statistics and see our commitments through to 2016.

Try making 2015 the year of promises fulfilled and embrace the philosophy of the 21 day habit. The trick? The conscious brain is being told to sample a habit for 21 days, and after those days have passed the neural pathways have already formed in order to continue the habit without struggle or question, thus becoming a natural part of our everyday lifestyle. When we set unrealistic goals, the conscious mind may be overwhelmed and we begin to immediately search for reasons of why our current bad habit is easier, and even more beneficial to us short-term.

It’s time to make a change and better the statistic of only 8% of Americans accomplishing their resolutions. Let’s focus on the most common resolution: to lead a healthier life. Begin by deciding what your specific health goal will be for the upcoming year. Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at Hertfordshire University suggested the following. Choosing one resolution will increase your chances of a successful resolution and cause it to be more focused; plan your resolution in advance. Do not repeat last year’s resolution because chances are it failed. If repeating is necessary, try another angle using different techniques. Write down your goals and accomplishments and remember to reward yourself for your hard work! Think of these helpful tips throughout your 21 day new habit developments.

In order to accomplish any health resolution, begin by developing the necessary and beneficial habits of proper sleep each night, drinking plenty of water each day, and eliminating processed foods. Once accomplishing 21 days of healthy eating, move on to 30 minutes of daily physical activity for the next set of 21 days. Once you adjust to the new healthy lifestyle and it becomes second nature, adding another 21 day set will be both rewarding and beneficial to the healthier you!