If you want to increase the odds of making your New Year’s resolution stick, try this one quick but very effective tip: Make your resolutions clear and actionable rather than vague.
So instead of committing to “exercising more this year,” say “I’ll do at least 10 minutes of cardio every morning.” The more specific it is, the more it sticks.
A second tip, and related, is to make your new resolution part of your daily habit. Commit, for example, to: “as soon as I get out of bed I’ll lace up my sneakers for my ten minutes of cardio, practice mindfulness, and then I’ll have my coffee.”
And then (and this is a big “and”) give yourself a reward if you do it. This can be the same day (get your favorite smoothie later that day if you do the workout), or a big prize in the future (say that more expensive bikini you’ve been eyeing, or a new treadmill or piece of gym equipment.) As Charles Duhigg writes in the bestselling “Habit”: “Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day.”
A final tip — which can dramatically increase your odds of sticking to your resolution — is committing publicly to it, and, even better, doing the resolution with friends.
Announce your resolution to friends. Tell your favorite trainer what you’re looking to achieve. Announce it in person in class. Post it on your Facebook page. Add a comment to this thread and tag friends. By doing that, you’re making yourself accountable to others, not just to yourself.
When it comes to exercising if you exercise with friends you are 65% more likely to stick to your workout. So use a tool like BurnAlong to schedule live workouts you’re your friends.
Seven out of 10 New Year’s Resolutions are centered on health and fitness goals, and yet only about 20 percent of the country gets the recommended levels of exercise according to the CDC. (The recommended levels are just 150 minutes a week — or around 20 minutes a day — and doing that makes a massive difference for your health and happiness.)
So follow these three tips, and come December next year you’ll be celebrating a year of achievement.
Recap of the 3 tips:
- Make your resolution as specific and actionable as possible.
- Make your resolution part of your daily routine – and give yourself a reward if you stick to it.
- Make your resolution social, involve your friends.
If something else works for you, let us know. We’ve seen amazing success stories, like Paulette (whose weight loss and success in not needing diabetes medication put her on the newspaper front page!).
From the BurnAlong Team, we wish you a wonderful New Year — and a happy and healthy 2018.