Why We Fail at Resolutions (and How to Keep Them)
For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.
You kept your holiday spending in check, maintained your workout schedule, and made those DIY holiday cards you’d been dreaming about for months. You’re in great shape to keep those healthy habits in 2018 — and you’re probably thinking about adding some resolutions along the way. A new year is a great time to continue your good habits and kick out some bad ones, and with the right strategy, you’ll be in great shape to keep the resolution momentum going long past January. Keren Eldad, a life coach and founder of the With Enthusiasm programs, has some insight into why we fail at New Year’s resolutions and, most importantly, some insight on how to keep them.
According to Eldad, we fail at keeping these healthy habits for three reasons:
1. Fear: Fear stops us from doing a lot of things, from applying for that dream job to asking out the cutie at the bar. We most often choose not to do something simply because we feel like we might fail. Eldad says that some of us even fear that our goals are too big, or that they might never come to fruition.
2. Buzzkills: “These are the people around us telling us it can’t be done,” Eldad explains. Sometimes, the haters aren’t motivators, especially if they’re people who are really close to you.
3. Habits: “Replacing your crappy habits with better ones isn’t easy, but it can be done,” Eldad says. The appeal of new habits is really exciting, but getting them to stick often entails the hard work of breaking old ones.
When we start to understand and acknowledge the things that might hold us back, we can think about ways to defeat fear, buzzkills, and bad habits. Eldad has three tips for doing just that.
1. Make no more than three resolutions. Simplicity is key here: “Remove the fluff and hone in on what truly matters,” Eldad says. For example, if your general goal is to get fit in 2018, choose three specific, realistic, measurable ways to accomplish that larger goal, like going to the gym three days a week, or signing up for a 5K.
2. Replace negative thoughts and habits with good ones. We’ve established that breaking habits is neither fun nor easy, but Eldad recommends focusing on the new habits rather than the old. If you’ve decided to quit smoking, reward yourself with a new habit that you enjoy, such as yoga or gardening.
3. Get a coach. If you’re feeling especially driven to stick to your resolutions, consider getting a life coach. This is a great option for people in need of accountability, according to Eldad. “Coaching changes the game,” she claims. “It wakes you up, supports you, gives you the tools, and gives you accountability.”
How do you keep your resolutions? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)