New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past, but also to plan for the future. Resolutions are a trendy thing to make on January 1st, whether it be to get organized, lose weight, eat healthy, or exercise. Research shows that 50% of adults in the U.S. make New Year’s Resolutions, but fewer than 10% actually keep them for more than a few months. For many people, 2020 has been a difficult year to keep resolutions due to forced changes and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What Are the 10 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions?
According to an Inc. study of 2,000 people, these were the top 10 most common resolutions made in 2019.
- Eat Healthier – More than two thirds American adults are considered overweight, so this should come as no surprise that diet and eating right is the number 1 resolution every year. This is one of the most common resolution not accomplished. People dive head-first into dieting in January then lack control later on. The key to making weight loss a habit is to make one small change at a time.
2. Exercise More – Working out more is the second most common resolution alongside eating healthier. Gyms get crowded after the holidays, and this too is a broken resolution because people struggle to make exercise a priority against work, family, and everyday life. If you decide to make exercise a goal, write it out in detail, stick to a regimen, and reward yourself (in moderation).
3. Save Money or Spend Less – About a third of Americans make this their goal. Some want to get out of debt. While others want to grow their savings. Debt.com says to be specific, set a budget, let go of unhealthy spending habits, track your spending, and use cash whenever you can.
4. Learn Something New – 25% make this their resolution. Want to learn how to play an instrument, learn a new skill or language, or even pick up a new hobby or craft? The start of a new year is the perfect time!
5. Quit Smoking – Many resolutions are made to let go of a nasty habit like smoking or eating junk food. It’s never too early to quit! On average, smokers try about 4 times to quit before they actually do for good. Don’t be discouraged, there are many products to help such as over-the-counter nicotine replacement products.
6. Read More – Believe it or not, the libraries get pretty busy the first of the year. Not as busy as the health food stores or the gyms. Readers are ready to get back to their scheduled reading, 17% have vowed to read new titles.
7. Change Jobs – Americans, for the most part, are happy with their jobs. A 2019 survey monkey poll reported they were content at work, 15% wanted a change.
8. Drink Less – Many people want to quit drinking in the new year. Research has proven that quitting bad habits, such as drinking, eating sugar, smoking, etc. is more successful when taking small steps. The small percent that want to give up drinking find it hard to socialize without the alcohol. Find a new hobby or support group.
9. Spend More Time With Family & Friends – Spending a lot of time with family and friends during the holidays may make you want to hibernate until next year or you may want to hang with them more. About 13 percent of Americans want to appreciate loved ones & spend more time with them in the new year.
10. Get Organized – Being tidy is trendy these days. Marie Kondo’s Netflix show has gotten everyone and their brother on board to tidy their homes. Pick up her book, for inspiration, or look on pinterest for ideas.
Scientifically Proven Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
Resolve to follow through with your resolutions and impress your friends while losing weight and getting healthy, learning a new language or instrument, getting organized and having them over for a dinner party. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
To Be More Productive, Take Breaks
Do less to do more. A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that frequent, short breaks that begin as early as a couple of hours after you begin work are most effective at refreshing employees. Overwork can lead to exhaustion which can lead to burnout.
To Lose Weight, Stop Focusing On Weight
Focusing on how much you weigh can defeat the process of trying to lose weight. The brain is hardwired for survival. The brain perceives diets as a threat to survival and increases stress hormones, which are also linked to increased weight gain. Concentrate on a slow and steady routine of regular exercise, mindful eating and good food choices, and stress reduction. Don’t rely on exercise alone. Give your body what it needs, not what it craves.
To Form New Habits, Give Them Time To Stick
Popular science has you believing that it takes about one month of consistent activity to become a new habit. A British researcher found that, in fact, it’s closer to 66 days. Luckily, you can miss a day, as long as you make a plan in advance that sets out concrete actions you can take on a daily basis, and do not feel pressure to achieve.
Choose A Resolution That Doesn’t Require Willpower
Research has found that when people must use extreme willpower, a function of the prefrontal cortex, it exhausts other functions such as mental endurance and the will to follow through. Will power is a mental muscle that must be trained, so consider making a resolution that adds to your life, such as volunteering, joining a club or group, or making handmade things. Building up your willpower could be your resolution.
Download (or save to your computer and type right in it) a copy of my 2021 New Year Resolutions.
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