- Getting fit, losing weight and eating well are the three most common resolutions
- Up to 97 per cent of people will fail to stay true to their resolution
- Start small and stay positive are two ways in which to keep your promise
Health dominates resolutions, which isn't much of surprise given how indulgent the festive period can be. Did you know, for example, that some people will consume as much as 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone?! No wonder we all want to be fit in the new year.
YouGov recorded last year that doing more exercise and getting fitter was the number one promise made by 51 per cent of Brits, followed closely by losing weight (47 per cent) and improving diet (41 per cent).
This is followed by saving more money (30 per cent), pursuing a career ambition (22 per cent), giving up smoking (14 per cent), decorating the home (14 per cent), taking up a new hobby (13 per cent) and, among others, cutting down on drink (12 per cent).
Do any of these ring true with you? Are there any resolutions we've missed here, any that you keep making, keep breaking? We'd be eager to find out.
When resolutions break
So you've made your resolution and things seem to be going well, yet, would you believe it, within three weeks, your willpower has buckled. Before January has even concluded, scores of people will be back to square one, according to one poll.
This survey also showed that a whopping 97 per cent of people making a resolution will not stick to their pledge for the full 12 months, while another study claims that only one in three of us manage to hold out for six months.
There are patterns to why people fail, irrespective of what resolution they make. For the most part it tends to be down to a lack of willpower - our brain can't handle this pressure allegedly - and setting ourselves exceptionally difficult tasks. Sound familiar to you?
Those that succeed, which are the minority (just three per cent), do so because they break up their resolution into small, time-based and measurable goals.
Four ways to succeed at your resolutions
Sometimes life just gets in the way and we're sure you agree that this is not an excuse, just a matter of fact. Whether it is staying late at the office on the day you're meant to go for a run, or attending back to back socials where there's alcohol and calorie-high snacks aplenty, our busy lives can throw us off track. Here's how to power on through.
1. Refine your ambitions. Think about one resolution instead of a handful of undertakings as you're ultimately stretching yourself. Consider the most immediate thing that comes to mind and focus on that. Again, make it realistic.
2. Start small. If, for example, you're keen on losing weight, don't jump into the deep end by punishing yourself with a ridiculous workout. Take little steps and build up piece by piece. You have to appreciate that change takes time.
3. Stay positive. It's all too easy to get dismayed if you're not seeing results and find it a gruelling experience. Refrain from using negative words and stay upbeat. Otherwise this can result in 'behavioural ironic rebound' – you end up making worse the situation you were trying to improve.
4. Don't do it alone. Resolutions, while at times solitary endeavours, can be a lonely experience, so it pays to either pal up with a friend or partner. Additionally, look to those who can support you when you most need it – your partner, for example, can be that shoulder to cry on or act as a catalyst to inspire you.
Put together, all of these strategies will hold you in good stead and ensure that even when you're tempted to have another slice of cake or feel unenthused about hitting the gym, you will be confident that with a bit of determination, tact and support, you can overcome any obstacles.
Let us know what resolutions you have in mind for 2015 and how you get on with them this year.