How You Frame Your Resolution Can Help You Stick to It

Hello! It’s a brand-new year, and we are back! We’re ready, refreshed and looking forward. We hope that 2021 will be a year to get back on track. Right now, things are still up in the air as to what kind of a year it will be, but we are already taking aim at tackling our health goals!

If you’re anything like us, you made your resolutions! Maybe you want to get more fit, eat a healthier diet, lose weight or break unhealthy habits. They are all great aims! We want to help you reach your health goals. But a healthy routine can peter out in as little as 12 days. On average, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. And, research has found it takes 66 days for an action to become automatic. So how do you actually succeed and stick to it?

The first step is to be specific. If you want to lose weight, set a goal for how much you want to lose and what your monthly goalposts are. Keep your individual amounts small! If you make your goals too large, you will miss them and then lose motivation. That goes for weight loss, fitness, a skill or any other resolution you make. If you want to become a better cook and usually have premade things or low-skill dishes, aim for one fully homecooked or challenging meal a week. Don’t try to become Julia Child by February!

The second big thing is to reframe your language. Being negative sets you up for negative results. If your goal is “stop watching hours of TV” you’ll feel bad about yourself, feel defeated and stick to your habits. If you think, “I’m going to walk more” you’ll go outside and get a new, healthy hobby and cut down on your TV because of it.

Researchers looking at what difference support made in sticking to a resolution found that the amount of support made less difference than the resolution’s wording! “What surprised us were the results on how to phrase your resolution,” said lead study author Per Carlbring, a psychology professor at Stockholm Univ. “The support given to the participants did not make much of a difference when it came down to how well participants kept their resolutions throughout the year.” 

Don’t plan to “eat less junk.” Decide to “eat more veggies.” Telling yourself it’s a positive helps you motivate yourself. You aren’t denying yourself something, you’re working toward something else. While the support didn’t make as big a difference as the wording, it made a difference. Telling people about your goal not only means you have folks cheering you on, it means you have a level of accountability.

So, as we move on into 2021, be kind to yourself and your resolution! Set a reasonable goal with achievable milestones. Tell someone about it so that they can support you. And make it something you’re working toward instead of fighting against! The whole Neuliven team is on your side!

Image: Jess Bailey via Unsplash
January 04, 2021
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