As promised, here are five tips from BYL on how to keep your New Years Resolutions going beyond the months of January and February!
- One at a Time: The part of the brain that is responsible for self-control has limited resources. If you set more than one resolution, you’ll overwhelm those resources. By just setting one, you’ll pool your cognitive efforts. Your chance of success will increase.
- Go Public: Share your resolution with friends and family. Getting support from others can help you keep apositive attitude, especially when you hit a rough spot or two. And, who knows? Perhaps others will join you in your resolution, making you more accountable to others.
- Be S.M.A.R.T.: That is, be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. For instance, instead of increasing your workout schedule from twice to five times a week right away, set mini-goals, like increasing the number of days you workout by one every two weeks. Eventually, working out five times a week will be the norm.
- List the Benefits: How is your life going to improve if you meet your resolution? Try writing these benefits down. This will keep your “eyes on the prize”, help you form positive memories of working towards your resolution, and remind you of the benefits you’re going to get.
- Give the Gift of Time: Setting mini-goals over time is the best way to achieve your main goal. Expecting yourself to just change something you’ve been doing (or not doing) for weeks, months, or years is not easy to do quickly. Allow yourself to work towards achieving your resolution over time.
Now you’re ready to keep your New Year’s resolutions! Be on the lookout for future entries addressing specific resolutions of Tufts students, like eating well and getting active.
Parker-Pope, Tara. December 6, 2007. “How to Boost Your Willpower”. New York Times. New York, NY. Accessed 1/9/11 at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/how-to-boost-your-willpower/.
Gailliot, M. T., & Baumeister, R. F. (2007). The physiology of willpower: Linking blood glucose to self-control. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 303-327.
National Health Service. New Year’s Resolutions. Accessed on 1/9/11 athttp://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Newyear/Pages/NewYearresolutions.aspx.
The Independent. January 6, 2011. New Year’s Resolutions: If there’s a will, is there a way? Accessed on 1/9/2011 at http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/new-years-resolutions-if-therersquos-a-will-is-there-a-way-2176591.html.