A New Year’s resolution is a yearly tradition in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their behavior at the beginning of a calendar year.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to turn a new page, which might be why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. The new year often feels like a fresh start and a great opportunity to change bad habits and establish new routines that will help people grow psychologically, emotionally, socially, physically, or intellectually. However, resolutions are much easier to make than keep, and within a couple of months many are abandoned. In one study, only around 12 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions felt they were successful in achieving their goals. However, another study found 46 percent deemed their resolutions as successful.
For 2023, a Forbes Health survey found the most popular resolution to be improved mental health (45 percent), followed by improved fitness (39%), weight loss (37%), improved diet (33%) and improved finances (30%). Generation Z (people born between 1997-2012) is more likely to prioritize improved mental health as a 2023 resolution than any other generation (50%).
Other popular New Year’s resolutions include: get organized, learn a new skill or hobby, live life to the fullest, save more money, quit smoking, spend more time with family and friends, travel more, read more, drink less alcohol, improve work/life balance, leave more time for leisure/hobbies, and perform better at work.
So, what are some tips or strategies for keeping those New Year’s resolutions? Here are some good tips from several sources that provide sound advice for those planning a New Year’s resolution for 2024:
- Be picky about your resolutions. Pick one or two things to focus on and go all in. Setting too many goals could lead to failure for all of them, which is not a desired scenario.
- Plan your resolutions. Do some research ahead of time and find out how long it might take to reach your goals. Changing long-standing habits is very difficult, but proper planning will help.
- Set very specific goals. If you want to exercise more, for example, set daily or weekly time goals to give you a guide.
- Don’t choose resolutions you have failed on in the past. Pick a new one to succeed at, and if successful, renewed confidence could help with trying again and being successful with an old resolution.
- Find a partner or friend to lean on for accountability or support.
- Give your resolution time. New routines don’t happen overnight.
- Be realistic. Don’t set unattainable goals.
- Be open and honest about your resolution. Talking about it with family and friends can help bring you more support.
- Reward yourself at proper times. Celebrate your success in moderation and feel deserved satisfaction.
- Track your progress and keep short-term goals.