There is a difference of opinion about New Year’s resolutions. However The Washington Post cites statistics revealing how resolutions create a huge opportunity for self-improvement. About 40% of U.S. Americans make New Year’s Resolutions every year, which is the first step to changing the negative habits we dislike.
My husband and I use the year-end as that time to reflect about those new habits we want to add to our routine. So what has worked for us? Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when setting your New Year’s resolutions. Remember, if you truly wish to change a habit, start a different pattern. If you continue the new practice for 21 days, a new habit is born! By following the tips below, you’ll be able to adapt and conquer.
- Plan & Reflect Beforehand: Don’t wait 5 minutes before the clock strikes midnight to think about what you want your New Year’s resolutions to be. Take some time to reflect and meditate about what to accomplish in the year to come. What went well for you in the last year? What didn’t? How do you want next year to be different? Write your thoughts down in a journal, or talk through it with a trusted friend or family member.
- Start Small: It’s good to set big goals. Sometimes necessary to start small and progress slowly toward the ultimate goal. A good tip is to break them down into steps. Each step accomplished toward the mail goal counts as multiple successful steps. For example, maybe you want to eat healthier. To do that, you might start by replacing sugary drinks with water or including green veggies in every meal. Choose a reachable resolution; set the bar high, but make the steps attainable and realistic.
- Don’t set too many goals: You don’t want be overwhelmed. Changing habits takes time and patience. Setting just one goal at a time will give you the chance to focus and give it your all to make it happen. Consider mapping out a word or theme for the year, such as health or fitness. Map out a single goal for each month.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: People tend to give up on their resolutions because of small missteps, missteps which are completely normal. Maybe you caved in and ate that dessert or missed a morning workout. Achieving these goals is not going to happen perfectly, that’s why they are so gratifying once they are accomplished. Therefore, treat any small failure as a small setback and keep moving forward rather than giving up on the goal altogether.
- Ask for help: Talking to friends and family for support doesn’t not show weakness. On the contrary, it’ll help throughout the whole process. Having someone you’re able to share your obstacles with as well as your achievements will make the journey enjoyable, easier and healthier for the mind.
It is believed that half of U.S. Americans set New Year’s Resolutions every year, however, according research by Richard Wiseman, 88% of those setting resolutions fail to accomplish them. Don’t let your resolutions be part of the 88% that fail each year, instead set yourself up for success and be part of the 12% that succeed!
Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.
Sophie Echeverry is the Corporate Marketing Manager and Event Coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Sophie has co-written more than 30 blogs since graduation. She’s a passionate foodie, and an avid e-scooter rider. Follow her foodie Instagram account or Connect with her on LinkedIn.