FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For many, the beginning of the new year means making a New Year’s resolution with the goal of improving their life in some way.
While it can be easy to declare a resolution, the hard part is actually sticking to it. According to Kurt Hoffman, a clinical psychologist and the owner of Hoffman Psychological Services, people who make resolutions typically fail just one month into the new year.
“Back at the beginning of the 21st century, the late 90’s, half of people who set a goal around New Year’s time, generally met that goal,” said Hoffman. “More recent statistics show that 80%, 82% fail, which is kind of staggering.”
To improve these recent statistics, Hoffman offered a few tips:
- Keep your goals realistic to avoid getting discouraged.
- Break your goals into smaller components. Hoffman suggests that in addition to setting your ultimate goal, set incremental goals that you can reach. This will help keep you motivated and track your progress.
- Talk with others about what your goals are. Not only will this help keep you accountable, but it can also draw support from other people if they are aware of the goals you’re trying to attain.
- Focus on one behavior at a time. For example, if someone sets the goal of getting in shape, just focus on one part of that such as eating healthier first. Don’t try to eat healthy, quit smoking and drinking and start exercising more all at once.
- Be gentle with yourself and learn from your mistakes. Just because you have one bad day, doesn’t mean you need to give up on your entire resolution.
- Set reminders on your phone or put post-it notes on your mirror to remind yourself of what you’re trying to achieve.
Hoffman also says he’s noticed many straying away from typical resolutions such as exercising more and quitting smoking for 2021. More are setting out to focus on interpersonal relationships and tolerance toward other individuals.
“We’re kind of divided right now with all the things happening in and around COVID and with the political climate,” said Hoffman. “I think it’s really kind of driven a wedge between some people and their relationships and a lot of people are focusing on trying to bridge that.”