By: Lauren Harper
The New Year’s holiday has come and gone, and with that came parties, fun with family and friends, and of course, the infamous New Year’s resolutions. People make resolutions for a variety of reasons, ranging from better health choices to even reinventing themselves. Whatever the reason, millions of resolutions are made each New Year, but only an average of 63 percent of them are kept for the first two months of the year. Due to this, there are many tips that one can follow if they plan on staying true to their resolutions.
Probably the most important tip would have to be staying realistic. If you know that you can not completely give up chocolate or French fries, then do not say you will. There is no one else that knows you better than yourself, so if you are trying to make resolutions, it is recommended to take into account your will power and self-control when it comes to eating habits and try to stay logical with it. Also, it is important to make resolutions for yourself, not for anyone else. When your significant other and family members want you to do something but you are not totally into it, chances are it is not going to happen.
Another important idea is to keep things simple. Do not go for the overachiever tactic and have a long list of resolutions you want to accomplish because, chances are, they will not all work out. Instead, it is better to have a short list of one to three resolutions that are also not too extravagant and can be attained. When you go for quitting multiple bad habits at one time, there is a much bigger chance that you will not be able to follow through with your plan. Instead, simple “positive changes” to your life are better.
Also it is recommended that when trying to carry out new resolutions, do not give up if you do not succeed in it the first time. According to Alan Marlatt of the University of Washington, “It’s a mistake to blame yourself if you fail. Instead, look at the barriers that were in your way. See how you can do better the next time and figure out a better plan to succeed. You do get to try again.” So even if you give in to temptation and have that bowl of ice cream that goes against your new diet, do not let go of the resolution completely because you are bound to make mistakes occasionally. Experts theorize that it takes twenty-one days to make a habit a habit and around six months for that habit to become part of your personality, so do not lose hope when things do not work out perfectly the first few weeks.
New Year’s resolutions are usually changes that are found to be beneficial to life, but keeping those resolutions can be a challenge in itself. When trying to make the change always be sure to remain realistic with your aspirations, keep things simple, and to not give up. With these things in mind, it will be easy to make 2011 the time for those great changes.