Achieving Your New Year Resolutions
A study published in March 2021 reveals that people are most likely to give up on their New Year resolutions within the first month. So, how can we push through and overcome obstacles that may obstruct us from our goals?
First, the type of goal you set is important. Goals need to be specific and actionable or SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). This means that instead of saying something like “I want to be healthier in 2022” you need to define what that looks like for you. Does healthier mean only eating fast food once a week? Eating a full serving of fruits and vegetables? Drinking 64 oz of water every day? Also, there is a lot of time in a year, so when are you going to make this happen? Start with small changes that will add up; it’s easier than jumping head-first. A revised goal might look something like “In January of 2022, to start a journey to be healthier, I will limit eating out to once a week.”
Next, from your SMART goal you should start formulating a plan to achieving that goal. Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit”, breaks down developing a plan for a new habit into a cue, a routine and a reward. An example given in the New York Times looks like this:
- Bad Habit: I don’t get enough sleep at night.
- Cue: I feel like I need time to myself in the evening.
- Routine: I stay up too late watching TV.
- Reward: I’m entertained.
- Ways to change the behavior: Instead of staying up late to watch TV, carve out special time each day to spend by yourself, even if that may mean asking for help with your children or taking a break from work each day.
Implement the way to change your behavior and nurture this habit. Part of developing new routines needs to allow room for grace. Give yourself a little slack when you misstep, being flexible in your goals and knowing that you will make mistakes or life may get in the way will help you develop a healthier mindset towards whatever you want to achieve.
Finally, have a support system. Letting others know about your goals for the year can be a great tool for accountability. Do you and a brother have the same goal? Check in with one another and keep each other on track. Even if you don’t have the same goals, motivating and cheering on your friends and family members to act as a reminder to yourself. Remembering why you set this goal in the first place can also help keep the motivation to make those small steps. Phi Psi is a wonderful community in which there are sure to be others that have had the same goals and achieved them. Reach out to those current brothers and alumni and don’t be afraid to ask for helpful tips and resources.
Whatever your goals in 2022, Phi Kappa Psi is here to help you grow.
Share your New Years resolution and goals with us at @PhiKappaPsi
Dickson JM, Moberly NJ, Preece D, Dodd A, Huntley CD. Self-Regulatory Goal Motivational Processes in Sustained New Year Resolution Pursuit and Mental Wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):3084. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063084