At the end of December, people across the world prepare for the year ahead. There’s something about the start of a fresh calendar that motivates people to set new goals for themselves.
You hear things like “new year, new me,” “turning over a new leaf,” and “this is going to be my year.” Setting goals for a new year is so common, in fact, that we even have a name for it: New Year’s resolutions.
Most people set goals that are focused on their health, finances, relationships or careers. But according to Business Insider, 80% of New Year’s resolutions have already been failed by February. 80%!
A lot of New Year’s Resolutions fail because they are complete lifestyle changes. Let’s use health-related goals as an example since that’s a common one for New Year’s resolutions. We often see a lot of people setting goals like “I want to lose __ pounds,” “I’m going to run 3 miles a day,” “I’m not eating out at all anymore.”
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy tells Huffington Post that most of us tend to set resolutions that are unreasonable, and we lose motivation when we don’t see results right away. More effective resolutions are quantifiable and realistic, gradually becoming more challenging over time. This makes us more likely to achieve them and gain momentum that pushes us toward our next goal. “I’m going to start going to the gym 2x a week.” “I’m only going to eat out once a week.” “I’m going to drink 5 glasses of water per day.”
If you’re ready to finally achieve your New Year’s Resolutions this year, we have an easy tip that will instantly make you more successful.
The answer? Write them down and start today. There’s still over a month left until the new year begins, meaning if you start today you’re already closer to achieving your goals when 2018 begins.
Psychology Today argues that it actually takes much longer for the average adult to form a habit than the 21 days we’re often told. A recent study suggests it actually takes closer to 66 days for something to truly become a natural, recurring habit.
If you start today, you’ll be motivated to keep working toward your goal up until the end of 2017, and that motivation will only re-ignite once the new year begins.
Instead of focusing on the new year, focus on finishing out this year strong first- it will only help you continue to pursue those goals in the new year!