With a new year rolling in comes the chance for a fresh start and the optimism of changing for the better.
According to a YouGov poll, one third of people don't plan on making New Year’s Resolutions. Of the two-thirds of Americans that do, the top resolutions involved eating better, exercising more, and saving more money. However, research from the University of Scranton shows that of all the people that make resolutions, only 8% are able to achieve them.
To achieve resolutions, it’s not enough to say you want to do better; you have to put in the work to get there.
Here are some of the top Chicago New Year’s resolutions for 2019 and how to achieve them:
Getting healthier is on top of everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions, with 37% of those surveyed saying they wanted to eat better or exercise more. However, these are usually the resolutions that people give up on the fastest! This probably has something to do with the fact that when you make fitness a goal, you want to see overnight results.
To all but ensure success, turn your resolution into a specific goal. For instance, instead of simply ‘getting healthy’, restate your resolution to say that you want to lose 15lbs in 3 months. For bonus points, detail the specific exercises and calendar dates you’ll use to make this happen! Putting in the time to plan (and commit) makes your resolution more concrete, and in that way, transforms it into a goal.
A second step is to think of your ‘why’. This will be important for motivation, especially during the hard times when you don't want to work out or want to give up because you aren't seeing any results.
Another top New Year’s resolution is to save money (also with 37% of respondents aiming to do so). However, Nerdwallet found that more than half of those who make money-related resolutions fail to do so! Yikes.
While making your resolution specific (“I want to save $2000 in 4 months for a conference I want to attend”) and thinking about your ‘why’ is a great start, you’ll want to take some additional steps to break your large goal down into smaller, bite-sized chunks.
The reason why many people abandon their goals is because they feel overwhelmed. Breaking them down can provide a sense of relief.
For example, you can break down the goal of saving $2000 in 4 months, into saving $500 a month. From there, check on areas of your budget where you can cut down. Or, if you’re struggling to stretch your income month-to-month, explore additional sources of income.
Setting your expectations high isn't a crime, but doing so will ensure that you quit faster. You're after sustainability; life isn't a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Other resolutions include focusing on self-care, like getting more sleep and reading more, learning a new skill, or getting a new hobby.
Something that can help with finding success is getting an accountability buddy to help keep you on track. Having someone who shares the same goals can motivate you, since working on your own will give you the excuse not to work on those goals (if no one else knows about them anyway).
2019 is your chance to actually achieve your goals, and not let your resolutions go to waste. How will you make the most of it?