Yes, You Should Make a New Year’s Resolution!
New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday, next to my birthday (which I guess is only a holiday to me).
It’s the first day of the year and symbolically a time for new beginnings. Yes, I’m one of those people who like to make New Year’s Resolutions.
One year my resolution was to smile more. I consciously made an effort to smile when I entered a room and it proved my hope that people would be more responsive to me. That was a good one. Although I must admit it is one of the few resolutions I remember and I can’t tell you if I made it the whole year doing it. But that doesn’t matter.
The point is that I recognized a change I wanted to make in my behavior and took steps to make it happen and was happy with the results. I think now overall I do smile more especially when I’m around a lot of people and it makes me more approachable.
Surveys find that between 40-50 percent of people make New Year’s Resolutions.
However, a small percentage makes it the whole year with that resolution. The good news is that 46-percent make it at least six months. As plastic surgeon and the godfather of habit forming, Maxwell Maltz observed it takes at least 21 days for something to become a habit. So, if you’ve managed to do something for more than a month it must be ingrained somewhat into your conscious.
At the top of the list of New Year’s Resolutions people make, according to Nielsen surveys, is staying fit and healthy. Ah, yes this is my job security. As a fitness professional this is one of the busiest time of the year. Of course heath and weight loss is on the minds of so many after what I like to call the sugar season between Halloween and New Year’s. That’s enough time for people to pack on a good ten pounds and with the weather in many areas turning cold there is less opportunity to get out and be active.
Health and wellness are always good resolutions to make even if you don’t make it the whole year. If you can make a determination to change or improve your behavior for at least a few weeks it can only help you. If you want to really follow through and reach that goal to lose weight or get fit read on for a plan backed by many behavioral specialists.
Pick an attainable resolution, one that fits into your overall goal. If you want to be healthier in 2016 then find something you can consistently do that will help you reach that goal. When I decided to smile more often it had occurred to me that I was sometimes intimidating and by smiling more I was less so. If you want to lose weight chose something you can do to help reach that goal. For example add weight lifting to your exercise regimen. Or cut out soda from your diet.
Spend some time thinking about your resolution before you deciding what it is.
- Think about how you will go about changing your habit or including it in your life.
- Pick a date.
- It doesn’t have to be New Year’s Day.
- Mark it on your calendar and build yourself up to start on that day.
- Do that by talking to others about your resolution.
- Perhaps recruiting someone to do it with you.
- Or you can make a bet.
- This puts it out there in the universe and allowing you to own it.
Execute with enthusiasm. Make ways to remind yourself or add it to your schedule in a way you can’t avoid it. At first it might seem easy and you’ll be proud of yourself. But then the obstacles will arise. If you mess up, don’t worry about it. A change in behavior is not an all or nothing. You can get back on that horse. After you get yourself back on track a few times you’ll be well on your way to forming a habit.
Even after you’ve past the mythical 21-days to forming a habit you might still have set backs like discouragement from not really seeing results or disruptions to your routine. This is a time to reset and push through.
As the saying goes, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
Good habits are formed everyday and successful people continually fight thru to form them.
You can too. You must believe it and then “just do it”!
- Top resolutions 2015: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html
- Habit Forming: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonselk/2013/04/15/habit-formation-the-21-day-myth/