According to research from digital marketing firm IQuanti, the most popular new year’s resolution in 2017 was to get healthy. But, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably made many a new year’s resolution that doesn’t last past January 31st… And it makes sense. Of course January feels like the right time to set new goals and turn over a new health leaf, it’s the start of the new year and a chance to reset after the over-indulgence of the Holiday season. But just because it’s the start of a new year, it doesn’t mean you are suddenly ready to transform your life. Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Canada’s Carleton University, believes that resolutions fail because people, for all their good intentions, aren't really ready to change their bad habits. Plus, psychologist Peter Herman, argues that people set unrealistic expectations in their resolutions, again dooming themselves to failure.
If you do want to use this January as an opportunity to make some positive, healthy lifestyle changes, here’s our tips on how to make them stick.
Discover Whether You are Ready for Change
If we delve a little deeper into Timothy Pychyl’s argument above, that resolutions fail because people aren’t really ready for change, then it seems the first thing you need to ask yourself is: What are you ready to change about your life? Sure, stopping smoking or losing 20 lbs are certainly desirable outcomes, but you need to be prepared put the work in to get there. Be honest with yourself. Are you ready to make this resolution a priority? Are you willing to give up things that you enjoy? Are you ready to commit to investing time, money and energy to this goal? If not, it’s unlikely this particular resolution will stick and now is not the time.
Set Process Goals Not Just Outcomes
If you set yourself a new year’s resolution to “get healthy,” it’s too broad an idea to really be useful or attainable. Instead, try breaking that outcome - to get healthy - down into the smaller actions you need to take in order to get there. These are called process goals; for example, walking 10,000 steps a day or swapping a daily unhealthy snack for a healthy one. Write down several measurable process goals and then choose just one you think is reasonable. It’s unrealistic to think you will change ten things in one go. But one or two, you can manage.
Change Your Mindset - It’s NOT All or Nothing
Another reason why resolutions appeal, and why they fail, is because people perceive them as a way to suddenly transform their life. But if you go into your new year’s resolution thinking “this will be the last time I eat junk food” or “I am never going to skip a session in the gym again!” Then you are setting yourself up for failure and will likely abandon your resolutions long before February begins. To succeed, you need to drop your “all or nothing” mindset. You are human and you are going to make mistakes but don’t throw in the towel! If you slip up, remember that tomorrow is another day and you can start again. Also, remember to celebrate your achievements and not just focus on your missteps. Maybe you won’t manage 10,000 steps today, but you’ve achieved 6000, and that’s better than nothing. Tomorrow you’ll get those extra steps back in.
Try making the small changes this January that will reap big results. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need to be painful or punishing. Check out our range of delicious, all-natural, healthy snacks that will make your journey to healthy a pleasurable one.