Keeping those New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Are you keeping them? This time of the year there are a dozen articles on how to keep your New Year’s resolution, the ads on TV are swamped with offers from gyms and diet companies.

The most common resolutions include; losing weight, exercising, and saving money. All good things but it seems to be very hard to stick to them – even though we know that it’d be good for us. Fortunately there’s lots of advice on how to stick to resolutions, and tools and apps to help us.

One of the most common pieces of advice is to share your goals with friends and family members who will support you. But there is research around that suggests the social acknowledgement of your planned goal is enough to trick your brain into thinking something has already been achieved. Here’s a TED talk explaining more.

Whether that’s how your brain works or not all the advice on keeping your resolutions says that you have to make it a habit, and that means doing something pretty much every day for at least 30 days.

One site offers a cool way to track your progress over 100 days, Give it 100 was founded by Karen Cheng, the woman behind “dance in a year”. The site allows you to upload a short video each day showing how far you’ve come. Lots of people are using it to document their efforts to lose weight or to exercise, and some people are showing their progress at learning a new skill. My favourite of these is skels who is learning to unicycle, it’s such a joyful thing to learn, and she’s doing really well.

That’s another secret to making and keeping resolutions, think less about what you should do, and more about what makes you happy.  Pick something that you actually like doing, and build on that.

Lego Image New Years Resolutions (1/52) / CC BY 2.0

Cyclist Image screenshot from give it 100 website