The Psychology Behind Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Are you ready to leave 2023 behind? Ready to make that change in 2024? We are too! The end of the year gives us time to reflect on the good times and the not-so-good times. It even gives us a chance to prepare ourselves for the new year and set new challenges. This is when New Year’s Resolutions come into play. Often, we might set New Year Resolutions on our own or we do it with people we love. Either all, it is an opportunity to set a goal we wish to achieve which can be all the more exciting.

What are Resolutions?

New Year’s resolutions are typically broad and require us to change our behaviours over a long period of time in order to be achieved. As such many people aren’t able to sustain the long-term behaviour change, or get swept away in competing goals or temptations, and struggle to be resilient when faced with setbacks or failures.

Approaching resolutions in a new way can help people to make more achievable and long-lasting changes in their life for the next year. When addressing broad, long-term challenges, it is most helpful to ourselves to have awareness of the values our goals draw on.

Why do we set New Year’s Resolutions?

To set goals for ourselves means we want to make a change for the better.

However, why is it that we make these “New Year’s Resolution” goals at the beginning of the year when we can set these goals whenever we want? When a new year approaches, it gives us a new opportunity to use the new year as a transition into a new norm and start fresh. The new year can also be seen as starting over with a clean slate. The excitement behind a “New Year New Me” is what keeps us holding onto creating New Year’s Resolutions. Even despite the fact we may have set some in the past and never achieved it

Why do our New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

If you are someone who has set a New Year’s Resolution only to see it be given up come February, you are not alone! Research has found that up to 64% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions dump them by the end of January. So why don’t we follow through with our New Year’s Resolutions? With all the excitement of setting a goal, it can create a barrier for us to thoroughly think through a plan. With no preparation or plan, we attempt to change without considering the discomfort we may feel in making that change. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, a concrete plan can help you maintain the motivation to continue exercising, even during tough periods.

In our next blog, we’ll be discussing the importance of values when creating results as well as how to create meaningful and effective resolutions. Stay tuned!

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