The new year is finally here, and for many people, that means setting goals and making resolutions.
Unfortunately, multiple studies have shown that resolutions made at the start of the year rarely last. Most end up failing within the first few months.
That doesn’t mean people who set New Year’s resolutions are less dedicated or committed than anyone else. Most people who set those goals really want to make positive changes; however, they may have psychology working against them.
What does that mean?
There’s more to resolutions than you might realize. Let’s dive deeper into the psychology of New Year’s resolutions, including why we make them, how they impact us, and why some people have a harder time following through than others.
Why Do People Make New Year’s Resolutions?
You can make a resolution or set a goal for yourself any time of year. The reason New Year’s resolutions are so popular is that it gives people a truly fresh start, as well as a timeline that’s easy to follow.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to make promises to yourself and set goals that will change your life for the better. Most resolutions are about some kind of self-improvement, so it only makes sense for many people to follow a “new year, new me” mentality.
The Impact of Resolutions
Making New Year’s resolutions is actually moreimportant and impactful than many people realize. It’s about more than just setting personal goals and wanting to change. It’s what’s behind those goals and changes that really matters.
Setting a resolution for yourself can help you be more reflective of your life. It gives you the opportunity to think about who you are and who you want to be. Sometimes, you have to look in the past to think about what you want to see in the future, and a resolution gives you an outlet for that.
Additionally, setting a resolution can provide you with stability. If you know you want to make changes in your life but you’re not sure where to start, it can feel overwhelming. Having a resolution gives you a clear picture of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
Why Are They So Hard to Keep?
So, why do so many resolutions fail?
Most of the time, it’s because people set goals that are too lofty or expectations that are impossible to meet.
New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be about changing your whole life overnight. They can actually be great motivational tools when you have the right mindset. Yet,far too many people want to reach a goal that is out of their reach, and when they don’t see results within a few weeks, they give up.
Instead of setting a resolution that feels overwhelming, it can be more beneficial to have one big goal and several smaller ones. Break things down into manageable chunks, and you might be surprised how much easier your overarching resolution will be.
You can think of the smaller goals as “resolution stepping stones.” Each small step can get you closer to your larger goal. Plus, when you accomplish each one, you’ll be more motivated to continue.
Whether you set a New Year’s resolution this year or not, it’s important to understand how meaningful it can actually be. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to wait for another year to decide to make changes in your life.
Feel free to set goals for yourself any time, but keep the psychology behind those goals in mind. Pace yourself, reward yourself along the way, and don’t go beyond what you’re truly capable of doing with hard work and dedication.