7 Most Common New Year Resolutions And Why We Fail To Keep Them

Tired of lying to yourself about the lifestyle changes you resolve to make every time New Year rolls by? Identify the mistakes and make new ones that you'll be able to keep!

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RESOLUTION #1: Lose weight and get fit

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WHY IT FAILS: Making such a resolution is equivalent of wanting to lift a 150kg weight without any previous training

Your pre-frontal cortex that handles willpower is like a muscle, that needs to be trained. When you set a new year’s resolution, an enormous amount of willpower is required. It’s an amount that your brain simply can’t handle.

CHANGE IT TO: Go for a 30 minute run or walk every evening after work

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RESOLUTION #2: Save more money

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WHY IT FAILS: The common perception of change is associated to loss - people think change means losing something

With a CHANGE = LOSING mindset, we brand ourselves losers before we even begin. We need to perceive a resolution as a new positive habit, reformed habit, or rebuilt habit. And always positive.

CHANGE IT TO: Keep track of expenditure

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RESOLUTION #3: Be less stressed

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WHY IT FAILS: The less specific your goal is, the less likely you are to succeed

CHANGE IT TO: Meditate for 2-3 minutes every morning after you wake up

RESOLUTION #4: Eat healthier and diet

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WHY IT FAILS: Using guilt or fear as a motivation won't work

Guilt and shame do not work – in fact they are the biggest hinderance you will face. The worse you feel about yourself, the less self efficacy you have. If you think about how bad you feel after eating you’ll eat more.

CHANGE IT TO: Swap out morning nasi lemak for a banana

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RESOLUTION #5: Quit smoking

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WHY IT FAILS: Any abstract goal you have, that is not tied to a specific behaviour is near impossible for your brain to focus on

Making it “instinctual”, which is the crucial aspect, that will help you achieve any new habit, is missing in 90% of all new year’s resolutions, which makes them so likely to fail.

CHANGE IT TO: Stop smoking that 1 cigarette after breakfast every morning

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RESOLUTION #6: Drink less

WHY IT FAILS: A lot of social activities revolve around alcohol and the fun that alcohol brings seem to trump caloric intake and liver protection

Students who beat themselves up for putting off studying put off their studying more. It’s the same with addicts. The worse they feel about a minor lapse, the more likely it turns into a major relapse.

CHANGE IT TO: Be selective of social events and weary of alcohol intake

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RESOLUTION #7: Volunteer more

WHY IT FAILS: Volunteering doesn't only mean going to what are labelled 'third world countries' to build a school

“Volunteering” doesn’t mean going to Nicaragua and building a school, nor does it mean attending every Habitat for Humanity meeting and embarking on a weeklong journey to New Orleans. Anything counts really, for it is better than nothing at all. It’s rare you meet someone who hasn’t been rewarded in some way after their volunteer efforts.

CHANGE IT TO: Spend a few hours visiting and helping out at an old folks' home every week

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