Eating better, exercising more and living a healthier lifestyle are all common resolutions. People have the best intentions, but their follow-through isn’t always on par.
That’s one of the primary reasons why making resolutions is a double-edged sword when it comes to your health. They can hinder the creation of healthy habits as much as they help. Here’s why.
Resolution Failure Rate – The Odds Are Against You
From the very beginning, resolutions create a mental roadblock. If you read the statistics on resolutions it’s not reassuring. Less than 10% of people feel they are successful at reaching their resolutions.
It’s enough to make many people forgo resolutions altogether. But the real issue lies in the resolutions that are made.
Because resolutions are made once a year people tend to go big. They either make numerous resolutions or one huge resolution. Both of these scenarios set you up for failure.
- Making too many resolutions (more than two) makes it hard to give goals the focus they need.
- Big resolutions with no measurable benchmarks are too vague and provide no direction for success. Not to mention, trying to make a huge lifestyle change all at once is next to impossible.
- Big resolutions are often unattainable in 12 months, and slow progress kills motivation.
Ultimately, the 90% of people who don’t reach their resolutions are left feeling like a failure. They give up on their goal entirely, thinking that they simply don’t have the willpower, time, energy, etc. to make positive changes.
And that’s why resolutions can do more harm than good. But there’s a better way . . .
The Healthier Alternative to Making Resolutions
Instead of waiting until the New Year rolls around to make a grand goal to revamp your life, it’s better to focus on living healthier year-round by making small changes. Small changes are more attainable and less disruptive, which means you’re more likely to stick with them. Pretty soon the changes become a part of your regular lifestyle and a healthy habit is formed.
At the end of the day, many resolutions are about forming good habits. It’s much easier to make positive changes if you associate them with daily routines that are already established. It’s a trick known as habit stacking.
- Pick a small, attainable goal.
- Add a measurable factor (for example, instead of resolving to work out more resolve to walk for 20 minutes a day).
- Find a routine or daily activity and incorporate the new healthy habit.
Reaching resolutions involves repetition. You have to work towards your goal every day to make it a reality. That’s a lot easier to do when it’s connected with other activities you’re already used to doing.
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