Christmas is over and our sights are now set on 2022. A new year, with new possibilities. It’s the perfect time to think about what you might want to change about your life and which new habits you’d like to start.
Despite all this new-found optimism that we have at the turn of a year, the majority of us will not keep the resolutions we make. Most of us know by February our resolutions have become a distant memory, with old habits slipping back in. We want to help you make this year different. So, we’ve put together four main reasons why most people fail to keep their resolutions, plus a few resolution suggestions for your 2022.
A resolution is made to be kept, not broken. That means you have to be realistic with whatever you have set yourself to do. Many people (perhaps after a few too many glasses on New Year’s Eve) set themselves near impossible tasks.
We’ve all heard our friends say they will start working out or waking up early every day. This isn’t physically impossible. But if you have a job, family, friends and responsibilities, committing to something every day is unrealistic.
Learn to be nice to yourself. You could pick up yoga or sewing. Once you’ve chosen an activity, you can then decide on a time or day that you’ll do it. Try and choose a class that can fit into your schedule so you don’t even have to think about it. It’ll become as habitual as going to work or buying groceries.
Making it a chore
Just because you’re setting new habits and resolutions for 2022, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself! Often, people see resolutions as self-improvement and think they have to suffer to develop.
The no pain, no gain mantra doesn’t work for everyone. For most people, choosing an activity that they like means they’re far more likely to stick with it. Choose something you find fun and rewarding and turn that into your commitment for 2022.
If you’re really into partying, why not learn some new dance moves and start salsa dancing? Or if you want to eat less meat, research alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. This should mean that when you think of your resolution you feel happy and motivated, not exhausted and guilty.
If salsa could be your thing, there are classes every Friday.
Doing it alone
This depends on what type of person you are, but lots of people are more likely to stick with a new habit if they do it with a friend. You have someone to motivate you and you also have someone that you feel responsible for.
That means when you’re just not feeling great and have run out of enthusiasm, you will more likely persevere because you don’t want to let your friend down. A habit can begin with a time frame as short as 21 days. That means you need to do something more than a dozen times before it’s routine.
The final big issue with resolutions is not planning. Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen! Saying “I want to get fit next year” or “I want to be more creative” are great ideas, but they’re not specific. You need to define what getting fit or being creative means to you.
That might see you writing poetry or painting every week, or playing tennis every Sunday. Make sure that you specify your goal and exactly how you’re going to achieve it. If it is to try and be more active. Why not set your sights on an upcoming race?
Jamaica regularly has 5K races. If you’re feeling ambitious then the Reggae Marathon in December could be the perfect goal to ensure a year-long workout regime.
*This was originally written for an agency during my time in Jamaica*