Statistics say that only about 10 percent of New Year’s Resolutions succeed, which is why many people take a cynical approach to the annual goals. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is an excitement that comes with the beginning of a new year. If you set your resolutions wisely, you can capitalize on that momentum and join the 10-percenters club.
Let’s take a look at why resolutions fail. Here are a few of the most common reasons:
1. Too ambitious. Resolving to lose dozens of pounds sounds overwhelming. Think of something that is doable. For example, commit to take the steps instead of the elevator at work each day, only eat dessert every other day, or stop eating after 7 p.m.
2. Too broad. Resolutions such as “get in better shape” fall flat because they are so ambiguous. Be specific. Commit to walk 30 minutes each day, only eat fast food twice a month, or refrain from soda for an entire month. Detailed, actionable goals have more staying power.
3. You can’t incorporate them into your schedule. It’s hard to build new habits from the ground up, so try attaching your resolution to a habit that you already have. If you are currently walking for 30 minutes per day, follow that by 15 minutes of weightlifting three times per week.
4. No accountability. When you are only answering to yourself, you’re more likely to let things slide. Get someone else involved in your resolution who can help keep you honest. For example, many of our patients limp along with allergy problems, saying that they’ll fix them next year. If this is the year you want to stop suffering from allergic misery, see an AllergyEasy doctor for help. They can schedule you for testing, talk to you about the costs of sublingual immunotherapy, and prescribe sublingual immunotherapy drops that you can take at home if appropriate. If your health, or any other part of your life, is suffering, enlist an ally.
5. Failure to review regularly. Setting New Year’s Resolutions is not a one-and-done endeavor. You need to monitor your progress and recommit as needed. Set a reminder on your phone to review your resolutions every couple of months so you don’t forget.
New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be losing propositions. If you make them specific and achievable, and build in parameters to encourage compliance, you can make 2019 the year that your resolutions succeeded.