New year’s resolutions can often suffer from falling into common pitfalls.
Around 25 million Brits make a resolution each year – but a study from the University of Bristol has found that around 80% end up in failure.
Resolutions can be over-ambitious, not ambitious enough or sometimes just easy to forget.
Whatever the reason, more often than not, resolutions seem to drift off into irrelevance – rarely with a bang but rather with a damp fizzle.
Read on for some top tips on how to dodge the common mistakes of resolution drop-outs, including practical advice on losing weight, cutting down on the booze and doing more exercise.
Tested ways to stick to your New Year’s resolutions
How to drink less
- Set out challenges: Dry January alone might not be enough. A study from the University of Sussex found that the majority of people were likely to start drinking again six months after Dry January. Instead, try using tools like the Alcohol Change UK app, which allows you to track the savings you make in a range of things including money and calories.
- Get more sleep: People who get fewer than seven hours of sleep are far more likely to have weak willpower, according to a study from the University of Hertfordshire.
- Don’t say don’t: Erase this word from your vocabulary and reframe your resolution. Rather than saying ‘don’t have a beer’, and then instantly thinking of beer, try to rephrase your commands. Try saying something along the lines of ‘do have some juice’, instead.
- Get unstressed: The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology has published a study that found that by practising mindfulness and intentional relaxation, drinkers were more likely to cut down on their intake over the following week.
How to lose weight
- Keep track: The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that using scales every day and keeping a record helps people lose weight.
- Get real: By making your weight loss targets realistic, you are far more likely to achieve them. This is according to the University of Michigan, who say you should incorporate a target of 66 days into your weight loss, as this is how long it takes to form a habit.
- Don’t go it alone: Success rates increase 42% when you don’t take on weight loss on your own and instead do it with a support network.
How to do more exercise
- Team workouts: According to studies, exercise regimes are more likely to be stuck to if done with friends.
- University College London studies have found that couples who work out together are three times more likely to succeed in their goals.
- Get out there: People who exercise outdoors do so for longer according to a study from the US, so get outside and face that rain.
- Get those endorphins flowing: A study from Vitabiotics has found that having mood-boosting as your goal was a better way to maintain an exercise regime, rather than simply doing it to stay in shape.
- Be consistent: The journal Obesity reports that working out at the same time of day was important for sticking to the plan. It doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning, but try to stick to a routine.