New Year’s resolutions are thought of as a step toward a better year. Annually, our habits and routines come into focus, as we vow to try to do better in the new year. But by February nearly half of people’s resolutions go out the window. Why does that happen? People who add behaviors rather than erase them are more likely to maintain them for a year. It’s a slight shift about how you phrase the resolution in the first place, changing “I will quit or avoid” to “I will start to”.
It may not be possible to transform your life overnight, but research suggests it’s much easier for people to start stuff, than quit it. The minute you place a limitation on something, the brain will fixate on it. Instead, give your brain the idea that you will start something new. You can start slow, such as joining a workout class, trying the latest juicing concoction, or playing some bingo or jeopardy. Set a reminder on your phone so you are ready for the next activity.
If we intentionally frame resolutions in a way that sets us up for success, your future self will thank you.