Most people want to change. The turn of the year is particularly suitable for planning. That's why New Year's resolutions are almost as closely linked as "dinner for one". Whether it's more exercise, quitting smoking, less alcohol or more time for the family - good resolutions are usually not kept. After just a few weeks, we fall back into old behaviour patterns. In this article, you'll learn what the most popular New Year's resolutions are, where this New Year's Eve tradition came from, why we find it so difficult to keep good resolutions, and how you can still achieve your goals.
Annual resolutions are an ancient custom
Making New Year's resolutions is an ancient custom. Even the Romans had good resolutions and used the magical effect of the turn of the year. At that time, higher officials had to publicly swear their loyalty to the people to the emperor on the first day of the year. At the solemn ceremony, Roman legions marched in parade. During this ritual, the Romans honoured Janus, the double-headed god of new beginnings. The two faces stand for the end and the beginning. In this tradition, people from all cultures use the end of the year to make good resolutions.
Popular New Year's Resolutions
These are some of the most popular New Year's resolutions:
- quit smoking
- drink less alcohol
- go to the gym more often
- to do more sports
- walk or bike more often than drive
- lose a few pounds
- snack less
- finally clean up the basement
- work less overtime
- spend more time with family
- Watch fewer Netflix series
- read more books
- more yoga or pilates
- clean your Mr Beam laser cutter more often 😉
Most annual resolutions are not kept
According to Statista, more than two-thirds of people fail to stick to their annual resolutions in the long term. 27 percent manage this for more than two months, 12 percent for one month, also 12 percent for two to three weeks, six percent for one week and one day, three percent for a few hours. 14 percent have not even tried it.
Reasons for failure of annual resolutions
There is either a lack of motivation, self-discipline or attention. Everyone is a master at making excuses to themselves. If the resolution "do more sport" has not been kept by March, then this is due to the weather. Those who give up good intentions are also in good company. Most of the time, we find it friendly when our counterpart tells us that they have just thrown a year's resolution overboard.
Set priorities when determining
Many people think that if I make ten resolutions, I will keep at least five of them. But this is a fallacy. It is better to limit yourself to a few resolutions, possibly even to a single project. If the number is too high, you run the risk of losing track or constantly shifting your focus between the different goals. Think about which goal is most important to you and which resolution you can really get excited about! Think of a situation in which your discipline is put to the test! Would you be able to resist the temptation?
Good resolutions should be as specific as possible
Many resolutions are formulated rather abstractly and vaguely. For example, the resolution "do more exercise" is pretty vague. Neither the exact scope nor the period is defined. Without a clear goal in mind, resolutions are difficult to stick to. Then all you have to remember is that your resolution has something to do with sport. A good resolution should therefore be linked to a quantitative specification and a deadline if possible.
Good intentions should be realistic
There is no point in setting the goals too high. Humans are creatures of habit. Old patterns of behaviour can only be discarded gradually. If you make a commitment to hit the gym three times a week, you may find yourself throwing that commitment away quickly. Consider all the consequences of your resolution to assess how realistic your plan is! If a target seems too ambitious, it makes sense to break it down into several stages. Ideally, each stage should be assigned a date. For example, you can plan to go to the gym six times a month up to and including March and eight times a month from April onwards.
Reward yourself for persevering
Perhaps a reward will motivate you to persevere and distract you if you are tempted to break your resolution. Think about what you can reward yourself with as soon as you have reached your goal or a stage! It's not just about the reward itself, but also about the testimony that you give yourself with it.
Find comrades-in-arms for good intentions
Man is a herd animal. Think about who can support you in your resolution and, if necessary, help you through a difficult phase! You can share your progress with like-minded people. Such conversations have a motivating effect and help you to stay on the ball. You can do it!