Following up from Chris’s first article: New Years Resolution Revolution, we are still talking about those January resolutions and for a good reason!
Sticking to Your New Resolution
Have you stuck to your New Year Resolution for 2019? Whether you’re still going strong or struggling to stay the course, health coach Chris Pinner is here to help!
Why are we talking about New Year Resolutions now – isn’t that for January?
Every month is a good month to build healthy habits. This article builds on January’s ‘It’s Time for a Resolution Revolution’ with 5 Pillars of Change to help you stay the course through 2020 and beyond.
Research by YouGov showed 22% of Brits had already failed to keep to all their resolutions just six days into the year. In February, around 33% have failed to keep all their resolutions. The crossover point is in mid-May, when the number who have blown their resolutions vs. those who kept them is about the same.
So, let’s imagine you’ve followed our guidance in Part I:
• Believe in Yourself
• Start Strong
• Start Small
But what if you’re struggling, or have already failed?
The good news is, you can still get back on track. Research (Lally et al 2010) shows: “missing one opportunity to perform the behaviour did not materially affect the habit formation process”. Creating a habit inevitably involves some struggle or failure. What matters is that you keep going as quickly as possible. Missing a week’s worth of opportunities does reduce the likelihood you create habits, so don’t wait longer than 7 days!
Here are some tips to help:
Use ‘why-power’ as well as willpower. Reminding yourself why you want to build your healthy habit can be a powerful motivator. Whether it’s to build confidence or something else, try to visualise and feel what success will be like. If you want more, grab a pen and pad then write down 10+ reasons why you would benefit from forming that habit.
Pleasure can play a role in encouraging repeat behaviour. In the brain, the neurotransmitter dopamine plays many major roles, one of which is in reward motivated behaviour. It helps you feel pleasure and can therefore help encourage positive repeat behaviours. If you are sticking to your resolution, or want to set a goal, reward yourself when you do.
Rest & Refresh
The human brain without sleep can behave in ways you do not want. Research (Yoo et al, 2007) shows that your amygdala, responsible for emotion and often unfavourable behaviour, is activated up to 60% more through sleep deprivation. Get enough sleep and recovery time to stay motivated
Make yourself accountable and set time for regular progress reports. One study (Matthews, G. 2014) showed that the probability of successfully completing a goal varies based on the steps taken take to get there:
• Unwritten Goals (just think about it) – 43%
• Written Goals (type up) – 62%
• Commit to a Friend (send goals & commitments to a friend) – 64%
• Progress Reports (send goals & commitments to a friend and have regular check-ins) – 76%
If you are the type of person who could benefit from some accountability – get in touch! Send me your goals, commitments and I will hold you accountable!
If you would like to accept Chris’ offer and make a brave step to making your resolutions a reality then you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org – Chris is founder of Innerfit – workplace wellness provider.