Resolutions are OK for a week or two but the hard part is keeping them going. Surveys show most New Year resolutions are doomed to fail right about now. So how can you keep up the good habits when the conviction you had at the start of the year is starting to whither?
Whether it’s losing weight, quitting smoking or mastering a new skill, a Forbes study indicates that only about 8 per cent of us will have achieved our goals by the dawn of 2017.
A more recent survey of more than a thousand ns shows an estimated 58 per cent failed to keep their New Year’s resolutions in 2015, and it took just three months for 15 per cent to let them go.
As the early days of the year fade to a memory and the holidays draw to a close, normal service is resuming and with it for many comes a return to bad old ways.
Sandy Ewing, a life coach at Life Coaching Melbourne says people who “fall off the wagon” with their New Year’s resolutions usually do so around the end of January to mid-February.
So why is it that people are failing to make long-lasting changes in their lives, and how can they keep their newly acquired good habits for longer? Be mindful
Colouring in can help you focus your feelings. Photo: Jesse Marlow
According to Ewing, self-awareness and personal growth are linked and allow people to gain a greater perspective.
To keep resolutions going strong, she says it’s important to ensure that you are present in all aspects of your life.
“My favourite question for people on a mission to learn and grow is, ‘Who do you need to BE, to do what you need to DO, to have what you want to HAVE?’ she says.
Kate James, a life coach and mindfulness teacher at Total Balance in Melbourne recommends grabbing a mindfulness colouring book to help you chill out and take time to be present with your surroundings and your feelings. Be clear about your objectives and set goals
Don’t make too long a list.
It might be a bit late in the day to hear this, but success with New Year’s resolutions comes if you don’t bite off more that you can chew.
The secret, the experts tell us, is to make goals which are smaller and easier to achieve.
“Rather than trying to overhaul everything in your life, think about practical actions and steps that you can take on a day-to-day basis,” James says.
“That way you will feel like you’re having a bit of a win each time you succeed with one aspect Expect to fail
Don’t let failure drag you down. Photo: Getty Images
Even if you set achievable goals, sometimes things go wrong and when they do, have a back up.
“We need to anticipate what to do when things don’t go our way,” James says.
“So have a plan for potential short-term failure and then get back on track as soon as possible.
“Don’t see it as a complete disaster, you should expect some bumps along the way.” Be accountable to someone
A life coach can help you keep your resolutions on track.
According to both Ewing and James, some people need a life coach to guide them and others are just as successful by checking in with a loved one or a friend.
Whatever your preference, find that person and let them know what you want to achieve and have them check your progress. Technology can actually be your friend
Depending on your resolution, Fitbit is one technology that can help you hit your targets.
Perhaps one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions has been to take a break from all things digital, but James believes that technology may actually help you achieve your goals.
“Apps can really help you track your progress,” she says.
“For a lot of people, seeing how far you’ve come can be very motivational.
“People will often drop their resolutions if all they see is where they are failing.”
Three weeks into 2016 are your New Year’s resolutions still going strong or have your bad habits resurfaced? Let us know here: