According to the data and research group, YouGov, 1 in 5 of us set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions in 2023. Unsurprisingly, over half wanted to exercise more or increase fitness and over 40% wanted to lose weight or improve their diet. But only around a quarter of us manage to keep all our resolutions. Have you managed to keep to yours?
Interestingly, far more people in their 20’s seem to make resolutions than those in their 50’s or over. Does that mean that older people have managed to reach their optimal fitness and weight? More likely, they might have given up or found it too difficult!
The problem is, the New Year is often the worst time to make resolutions.
We’re tired from festive parties, buying presents or hosting, so it’s hard to use our willpower to make radical changes. We may have spent weeks tucking into mince pies, chocolate and alcohol…then we expect our body to accept a crash diet or brutal gym routine. This sudden change in routine can cause cravings, exhaustion, or insatiable hunger. It’s not just a physical problem – there’s a mental component too. The drop in mood that comes after the excitement of Christmas, added to dark nights, miserable weather and heading back to work is hardly a recipe for success. It’s no wonder that a lot of peoples resolutions fail.
So what can you do?
Don’t rush yourself.
February is still the new year. Forcing dramatic changes on yourself on January 1st can be too much for most people. Why not delay New Year’s resolutions until you feel you’re back into a regular routine? Let the sugar rush die down and the January blues to pass – you might stand a better chance of keeping to your resolutions.
Don’t let one setback make you quit.
If you have tried to keep a resolution and failed, don’t give up. Call it a practice run and try again. Set a new date, whether it’s the first of February, March or even April. 1% of progress is better than 0% of progress. Remind yourself of this when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
Plan a gentle lead-up to your planned resolution rather than a drastic change that often follows the guilty indulgences of Christmas. If you want to run a mile in ten minutes, start off with a 15 minute goal and work yourself up. You can’t expect to be perfect immediately, that just sets you up to fail. Make sure you set clear, measurable, and realistic goals and you may find it far easier to succeed this time!
For more health advice, take a look at our other blogs. And good luck with your 2023 goals!