It’s 2021, things are weird, and we don’t blame you if you decided not to give yourself a New Year’s resolution this year. But lots of people will have, and by February they might have already broken them. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February.
And that’s totally ok! A lot of people dislike the concept of resolutions as they feel it adds too much pressure. People aim too high, and then feel disappointed when they can’t keep up with their goals.
We do believe in setting targets; however, they must be attainable. We’ve outlined the New Year’s resolutions that often fail and have provided tips on how to make them more achievable.
If you haven’t made a resolution this year but want to challenge yourself, read our tips on setting goals and achieving them.
Pre-pandemic, come January, you may find that gyms are busier than any other time of year. This is no coincidence; it’s because people have said to themselves that they MUST lose weight after Christmas. Like clockwork, every year the gyms are quieter by February, usually because people don’t give themselves a realistic action plan. They go hard for a few weeks and hate it, so give up.
People need motivation to exercise and setting an attainable goal helps. This is relative for everyone and depends on what you currently do. If you never exercise, going from 0 to 100 won’t work, and it’s best to make small changes first and then build on them.
One option is to challenge yourself to one home workout a week and two long walks, and then go from there. You’ll see results physically and mentally and this will encourage you to keep it up. See more tips on keeping fit and healthy.
- Healthy eating
Similarly, healthy eating is a commonly failed resolution because people often choose unsustainable diets. Eating healthily doesn’t mean you need to starve – it’s all about balance.
Just after you’ve started your new regime, ask yourself whether you can see yourself sticking to this for the next five years. If the answer is no, you need to switch it up to something you can keep to. This is the best way to tackle this resolution and the easiest way to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Obviously, it’s a little harder to volunteer at the moment. However, this is something that a lot of people say they’re going to do every January, but only a few actually do it. This may be because they realise they don’t have the time, or perhaps because they volunteer somewhere once and don’t like it.
The trick is to find something you’ll enjoy doing. This way, you’re helping others and you’re also helping yourself. The Army Cadet Force is a great place to volunteer if you’re looking to inspire young people, have an adventure and further your skills.
- Be less stressed
You can’t become less stressed by simply making it a resolution, so it’s easy to see why people fail at this one. Ultimately, cutting out stress might mean cutting out the thing that is causing it. This is easier said than done if it’s work, money issues or something else out of your control.
The key is knowing how to lower your stress levels; things like exercise, meditation or practising mindfulness can help. Focus on ways on dealing with stress, rather than telling yourself you’re just going to get rid of it.
- Save money
Everyone wants to save more money, whether it’s to spend on a holiday, new car or to just set aside for a rainy day. But then life gets in the way. Friends want to go out, your kids need new shoes, or your boiler breaks. Then the saving stops and the spending begins.
Again, it’s all about balance – some months are more expensive than others! But being more mindful of your spending can help you prioritise. Do you need to buy coffee out every day? Even sacrificing a small amount daily can make a huge difference.
The most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to your resolution. It’s a tradition that many people adopt to improve their life, but it shouldn’t make you feel guilty or like a failure if you can’t stick to it.
If you have made a resolution but aren’t feeling fulfilled, learn more about becoming a cadet or adult volunteer at the ACF. We promise it will change your life!