December 29, 2023

Tips for Making and Keeping Resolutions this New Year

Mary Apel

Every January nearly half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. We resolve to eat better, exercise more, quit drinking or smoking, get organized, spend less money. Nearly 80% of people admitted to abandoning their New Year’s resolutions by February every year, according to Forbes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve made a resolution this year and would like help keeping it, Here are seven tips from UC Davis Health experts to help you make and maintain your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Be selective: Instead of setting multiple goals, focus on one or two specific resolutions. This approach increases the likelihood of achieving those goals and avoids feeling overwhelmed.

2. Plan ahead: Take time to plan how you will accomplish your resolution and estimate the time required to reach your goal. Researching and understanding potential setbacks can help you prepare for challenges along the way.

3. Set specific goals: Avoid vague resolutions like “exercise more” and set specific targets such as “exercise 30 minutes daily.” Specific goals provide a clear path and allow you to track your progress.

4. Start small: Avoid setting overly high expectations for yourself. Begin with small, realistic goals. For example, if your aim is to lose weight, start with a manageable target like losing 10 pounds in two months.

5. Choose a fresh resolution: Instead of revisiting past goals that were unsuccessful, consider setting new objectives. This allows you to approach your resolutions with a fresh perspective and increases the chances of success.

6. Seek support: Find accountability partners who can offer support and motivation. Whether it’s a friend to exercise with or a spouse to encourage healthier eating habits, having a community around you can greatly enhance your chances of success.

7. Be patient: Forming new habits takes time. Research suggests that it takes an average of 66 days for a behavior to become a habit. Be patient with yourself, maintain consistency, and don’t let minor setbacks discourage you. With persistence, your resolution can become second nature.

So as we move forward into 2024 and towards whatever is next, remember that small steps can lead to significant results. Embrace this new year as an opportunity for personal growth and positive change. Onward and upward, friends.

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