Resolving to be Better in 2022
Bring self-control, deliberate action, planning and the ability to prioritize
We’re more than halfway through January, and it’s likely that one or more of your resolutions have fallen off. In fact, statistically speaking most New Year’s resolutions are given up by January 19. And it’s not for lack of trying. Life gets in the way and that same commitment starts to wane as the usual suspects of work deadlines, school schedules, lack of sleep, fatigue, and usual habits start to overtake that drive for a ‘new you.’
But all hope is not lost, as new science may help you keep your commitments more effectively. According to a study by the University of York self-control is an important characteristic, along with support tools, toward keeping those resolutions. Researchers found it was necessary to have self-control, but also deliberate action, planning, the ability to prioritize and some tolerance for the discomfort that could come from the effort. Below are some keys to help stick to (or recover) those resolutions:
Create realistic goals
Skip those vague resolutions like, “I want to get healthier,” or “I want to be happier.” Some days you’ll feel as though you’re reaching your goals, but other days you won’t–and an intangible, vague goal will cause you to feel lost. A measurable goal is easier to track progress and know that you’re making strides toward those goals. Ones such as “I want to go to the gym three nights per week,” or “I want stay consistent on my medications for 30 days” can be tracked and provide instant proof toward those goals.
Set yourself up for success
It’s easy to feel motivated early in the process. But after a week or two, motivation starts to naturally wane. These are the times where it’s helpful to remind yourself why you started and stay focused on the goal. By preparing for that dip in motivation, you can set yourself up for success well in advance. You can make bad habits inconvenient and good habits convenient. Store junk food out of reach. Keep your workout gear packed and ready to go near your bedside for that early morning workout. Set up reminders through Medisafe’s platform to remind yourself of daily medication use. By doing these small things, you’ll be more likely to do things that feel easy, even when your motivation declines.
Keep your workout gear packed
and ready to go near your bedside
for that early morning workout.
Plan for obstacles
There will always be obstacles that could easily derail you from your resolution. It may be an invitation to dinner that could blow your diet. Or a special project at work that leaves you with fewer hours to hit the gym. When these obstacles occur, it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Recognize that a day or two fell off track, but you can always recommit and adjust your plan to stay on track. That might mean a longer workout on the weekend when you have extra time or reorganizing your daily calendar to ensure you’re taking medications at the right times.
Track your progress
You need to know if you’re headed in the right direction, and it’s important to find a way to track your progress. Use an app to check off the days you work on your goal. Or create a chart, spreadsheet, or graph that helps you visualize your progress. If you’re goal is to lose weight or increase your fitness level, taking pictures is an easy way to periodically view the progress you’ve made. Medisafe includes goal accomplishments to reward you for consistent medication tracking, so you’re able to see how you’re doing and the steps you’re taking. Reviewing your effort can also help you stay on course when it feels as though you’re not making any headway (which is common). Keep in mind that progress doesn’t always come in a straight line. Sometimes, there are bumps in the road–but this doesn’t mean you should give up.
Remember that mistakes and hiccups are part of the process. But too often people think one mistake means they’re destined to fail. When you make a mistake–like you skip a medication for a week, or you make a ridiculous impulse purchase you can’t return–learn from the misstep. In fact, studies show that people who were successful in maintaining their resolutions experienced a slip up at least 14 times.
It’s important to remember not to beat yourself up over these slips and use those moments to strengthen your resolve going forward. If you’ve struggled to keep your resolutions in the past, don’t lose hope. With a little extra planning, you can change your habits–and ultimately change your life. Commit to making this year the year that your resolution is going to stick.