According to a 2019 study by Strava, January 17th is the day that people are most likely to give up on their New Year’s resolutions, also known as Quitter’s Day. It’s understandable, really. We’re dealing with back-to-work blues after the holidays, the winter weather that felt so festive back in December now just feels interminable, and January always seems to last at least 7 months. So what can we do to beat the odds and keep up with our good intentions? Luckily for you, we’ve brought together 6 tried and true tips to help you beat Quitter’s Day and keep up with your resolutions!
1. Keep It Manageable and Measurable
Don’t just tell yourself you’re going to be “healthier” or “happier” or “more productive.” Think about it; even the healthiest person on earth could probably still be healthier if they tried. So what exactly does it mean to “be healthier”? By setting vague goals, you’re never going to feel like you’ve met them, which means you’ll miss out on that sense of accomplishment that is vital to maintaining healthy habits.
Instead, set yourself specific goals that you’ll be able to measure. Instead of “I’m going to exercise more,” you might choose “I’m going to run 10 miles a week” or “I’m going to exercise 30 minutes a day”. That way, you’ll get that all-important sense of achievement when you smash those goals, which will make you want to keep it up!
2. Track Your Habits
Once you’ve broken your resolution into bite-sized pieces, now you need to remember to actually do it. If you keep forgetting, meet your new best friend: a habit tracker.
Habit trackers are great visual aids that not only remind you to do those regular tasks that otherwise might be forgotten, but also allow you to easily look over your progress, which can be very rewarding.
A habit tracker could be as simple as coloring in a box each day you achieve your goal. If this appeals, you’ll find 31 free printable habit trackers here, so have a browse and find one that works for you – or make your own! If you prefer something a bit more advanced, opt for a digital habit tracker instead, which can send you reminders, offer rewards, and help keep you on track. Apps like Strides, Habitify, or HabitHub are popular choices.
3. Make Room for Healthy Habits
Sometimes in life, we need to get rid of something old to make room for something new, and habits are no different. Time, energy, and attention span are some of our most precious resources, especially in today’s hectic, always-on culture, and these resources are not infinite. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with your family, that time will need to be taken from another activity, whether it’s work, play, exercise, or just procrastinating. By being realistic about how much time you actually have in your day, you’re more likely to set realistic – and therefore achievable – goals.
4. Add New Habits to Old Ones
Changing your whole routine is difficult, and doing it overnight as the clock strikes 12 is nigh-on impossible. Instead, opt for the tried and tested route of attaching new habits to existing ones. Say your resolution is to take up journaling – if you can attach that to something you already do, you’re much more likely to keep it up. So you might write in your journal while you’re waiting for your morning coffee to brew, or immediately after you shower or take your Daily Boost. That way, you can trick your brain into thinking your new habit is part of your existing routine.
5. It’s Never Too Late to Start
New Year’s resolutions don’t actually have to begin on January 1st! Sure, many people see this date as the natural time to make a change and start the New Year as they mean to continue, but that might not work for everyone. If you didn’t get around to setting any resolutions this year, there’s no need to wait until next January 1st to get started. What’s more, if you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolution, or decided it just wasn’t right for you, there’s no rule against changing to a different one. It’s never too late to start working towards being your best self!
6. Be Kind to Yourself
Last but not least, it’s pretty difficult to become a better person without being kind to yourself. If you miss a day or don’t quite meet your goals as quickly as you wanted to, that’s no reason to quit. Just take each day as it comes, and if you slip up, then tomorrow is always another day!