16 Jan 3 Tricks to Maintaining Your New Year’s Resolutions
It’s almost the end of January, and if you’re like the majority of us your New Year’s resolutions have probably fallen by the wayside already. The futile cycle of setting intentions, and not meeting them, is disheartening to say the least. So how do we combat this obstacle, and get our New Year’s resolutions to stick?
We’ve come up with a list of 3 approaches to tackling your resolutions.
Most people hold the belief that they can’t spark change, or begin a new routine, until the start of something. Start of the New Year, start of the month, or start of the week. We then get needlessly frustrated when our 5 or so days of good intentions slowly melt away back into old habits by the weekend.
Researchers suggest that the best time to start a new habit (and stick to it) is actually on a Thursday. Why? For most, the beginning of the week is often hectic. Back to work, back to school, new projects, meetings, etc. Attempting to add a new habit into this mix is cruel. You’re practically setting it up for failure, competing against all your other rigid routines. Come Thursday, things begin to slow down. It is now that you should start that habit, as you have more time to devote to it, and less competing priorities. By the time Monday rolls around again, you’ve already reinforced this habit for a few days, and it’s not so hard to continue it into the next week.
Use a habit tracker
For visual people, especially kids, habit trackers are a fun and creative way to hold yourself accountable. Recording your wins and misses can be a real motivator when starting a new habit, and quite satisfying. We put this to the test this month with our Kids’ Habit Tracker, tracking daily tooth brushing and flossing (you can download a free copy here). Jhuan ticked off each day when he brushed and flossed, and at the end of the week his habit was reinforced with a reward.
You’ll find lots of inspiration to create your own habit trackers on Pinterest and YouTube. Not the creative type? There’s plenty of designs online to download for free, too.
Tip: Leave your habit tracker in an area where you’ll see it, to motivate and remind you.
Make your resolutions value-based
Making your resolutions value-based rather than goal-based may help you stay on track for longer. This is because goals are things you achieve, tick off and are complete. Values, however, are never ‘done’, but rather continually shape how we think and act.
For example, if your goal is to floss daily, you may achieve this for a month and then stop, because you’ve completed your goal. If, however, you focused on your value for good oral health and overall wellbeing, this will motivate you to continually floss daily because your resolution is value-based.
So if you’ve let your New Year’s resolutions slip already, don’t panic! It’s not too late to start again on Thursday, or, you know, right now.