Now that the rush of the holidays is winding down and we are entering our daily routines again, it’s that time of year when we start to make those initial efforts in keeping our New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it was to start going to the gym more regularly, speaking kinder to others, or finally taking that trip you always said you would, once the daily routine comes back it can be all too easy to forget and altogether abandon those resolutions we made with so much enthusiasm. A recent study found that roughly speaking, only 9.2 percent of the world’s population will stick to their New Year’s Resolutions throughout the whole year. So in order to help you stick to those resolutions, here is a quick list of reminders and ways to keep your resolutions and help you have the best year ever!
Keeping a Planner
One very simple and effective way to keep your New Year’s Resolution, especially health-related goals, keeping a planner and scheduling in your resolution will help make sure a day does not slip by that you are reminded of what you promised yourself.
We have a variety of great planners available on LDS Bookstore, click the link here to see more!
Being Kind to Yourself
Most New Year’s Resolutions go through a very short life cycle. During the holidays we set ambitious plans to change the way we do things, to get healthier, to eat better or the like, we find ourselves ready to change forever. Then usually around February, we begin to slip a little bit, we miss a day or two of our gym goal, and suddenly we feel defeated. We tell ourselves since we’ve already a number of days of our goal, we might as well give up. That or we simply forget we even made the goal! One effective away to save ourselves from this discouraging cycle is to be kind to ourselves. We can simply remember that great change does not happen overnight and that we can have a fresh start every single day.
Asking a Friend to Keep You Accountable
What are friends for, if not to help us achieve our goals and become better people? One tip to keep your New Year’s Resolutions is to ask a close friend to help keep you accountable! Better yet, if you both share the same resolution this will make the process of accountability even easier. When we know that we have others that we are accountable to when it comes to our goals, we can often have a stronger sense of motivation and enthusiasm to stick to our goals and resolutions.
Frame or Keep Your Resolutions Somewhere They Are Always Visible
One practice mentioned by a variety of self-help coaches is to make sure your resolutions are kept somewhere very visible. Somewhere like the bathroom mirror, next to where you keep your keys or phone at night, somewhere that you visit multiple times a day. Consider starting a group chat with friends that have the purpose of keeping everyone accountable for keeping their resolutions. This can be a great way to not only keep yourself accountable but to also congratulate and motivate your good friends to keep their goals. We have a great 2020 Goals Sheet on LDS Bookstore that’s available for free! It has a beautiful design that can be easily placed anywhere you visit often to remind you of your goals. Click here to download yours.
Using the Technique of “Reward Bundling”
In a recent episode of the popular podcast, The Happiness Lab, Dr. Laurie Santos interviews Wharton University’s professor Katherine Milkman about sticking to our goals in the new year with a technique called “reward bundling”. Professor Milkman explains a study they performed where they asked a group of individuals if they wanted to exercise more this year. This was met with a resounding yes, and they offered each member of the group an iPod that they could only use at the gym. Additionally, they organized a cycling class where the group would be able to access their iPods with a group-selected audiobook that they could only listen to when attending the class. They then organized another group that gave them the iPod that was meant for the gym but did not establish any restrictions beyond this. They found that within the two groups, the audiobook group exercised 56% more than the second group. Professor Milkman explains that by combining one of our “indulgences”, whether that is audiobooks, television shows, or a favorite meal, we are almost 3 times as likely to stick to our resolutions throughout the year.
All tips and tricks aside, the new year is a wonderful time of year to set new goals and aspirations to become better. A beautiful truth we have through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that every day can be like a new year for us. We can decide this very moment to draw closer to Him, to repent of past sins and bad habits, and remember that “in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Devin is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied English and Business Management. He is a writer, photographer, movie-fanatic, and a lover of street tacos. He served his mission in Tokyo, Japan.