For many of us, the new year represents an opportunity for a fresh start — a chance to pivot towards healthier habits and ambitious goals. However, the stereotypical resolutions often revolve around short-lived fads or drastic changes that can be tough to maintain. But what if, this time around, we approached our resolutions differently? What if we prioritized setting resolutions that focus on fostering genuine well-being and cultivating healthier lifestyles? As we dive into 2024, let’s set healthy New Year’s resolutions to manifest not just a successful year but also a more fulfilling and sustainable life.
How to Set Healthy New Year’s Resolutions That Actually Work
According to a national survey, nearly 40% of Americans say they like to set a goal or resolution each year, reports Forbes Health. The publication goes on to add:
Failing at New Year’s resolutions is so common that there’s even a slew of (unofficial) dates commemorating such failures—some sources cite “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” as January 17 while others denote the second Friday in January as “Quitter’s Day.”
The Forbes Health/One Poll survey found that the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. Only 8% of respondents tend to stick with their goals for one month, while 22% last two months, 22% last three months and 13% last four months.
A lot of this comes down to psychology.
Why We Often Fail at Achieving Our Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
One of the top reasons we fail to maintain our goals for the new year is unrealistic expectations or lack of specificity:
- Setting overly ambitious or unrealistic goals can set us up for failure. When resolutions are too extreme or unattainable within a reasonable timeframe, it’s easy to lose motivation.
- Vague resolutions like “exercise more” or “eat healthier” lack clear direction. Without specific, actionable steps, it’s challenging to track progress or know where to begin.
These often go hand-in-hand with poor planning and goal setting. Not having a plan in place can lead to faltering, and a lack of concrete steps or milestones makes it harder to measure progress and stay committed.
“Change can be daunting,” explains mental health educator Shainna Ali, PhD. “It may seem as though you are making a sharp turn to adapt to a path paved with your goals. You may not know where to start, however, you may also be facing pressured to hurry up and do so. The pressure surrounding you may come from your environment, culture, loved ones, and even from yourself. Over time, this pressure may make it seem as though the walls are beginning to close in on you. Even if you surface from the pressure, you may not know where the road begins. Further, even if you do know where the journey starts, looking at the long road ahead may cause you to feel as though it’s too much, too soon. These factors may cause you to quit before you even start.”
A Proven Way to Set Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep