Here’s how to make difficult New Year’s resolutions work
New Year resolutions are not as hard to stick to as people generally assume if you follow a few simple methods, says a psychology lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
One of the research-supported methods to stick to New Year’s resolutions is to set goals with friends instead of going about it alone, said Lisa Williams in an article published recently in The Conversation, a news and commentary site.
“One research study found signing up for a weight-loss programme with friends and having that social support reinforced over time resulted in an increase from 75 percent to 95 percent in course completion. It even resulted in an increase from 24 percent to 66 percent in weight-loss maintenance, compared to signing up alone and receiving treatment not focused on social support,” Williams said.
Another way to make resolutions work is to set a range for a goal, rather than making it specific. “Research suggests that setting a range for a goal (planning to lose five to ten kilograms) rather than a specific target (aiming to lose eight kilos) will likely be more effective,” she pointed out.
Williams also suggested that recommitting yourself to the goals at regular intervals — for example, on first day of every month or first day of every week can boost your chances of achieving the goals that you have set for yourself.
“Clearly, the calendar itself can help in re-committing to goals. From this view, ‘a case of the Mondays’ could be the impetus to revisit the gym, shut off email in the evening, or trade spaghetti bolognese for salad,” Williams noted.