Why can’t people keep their New Year’s resolutions?

Living Magazines Dr Zain Sikafi on New Year's Resolutions

We’re delighted to bring you this item on how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions in 2019, written for us by Dr Zain Sikafi, CEO and Founder of Mynurva.

Arguably the best part of celebrating the start of a new year is the inspiration it gives you to make the ensuing 12 months a success – be it improving professionally or focusing on your health and wellbeing.

It is estimated that almost one in three (30%) of Brits have made a New Year’s resolution (or several) this year. But despite having the best intentions, only one in five will achieve them.

The question beckons – why is it so difficult to stick to your New Year’s resolutions? And how can you make sure you’re part of the small group that will proudly look back on 2019 with the satisfaction of having completed all the goals set at the beginning of the year?

Clarify your goals

Before you start working on achieving your goals for the year, you need to have a clear picture of exactly what they are – and how you’ll achieve them.

Vague statements like ‘get healthier’ and ‘exercise more’ often fail to materialise as it’s difficult to keep yourself accountable and keep track of your progress. Instead, look to set easily identifiable goals that can be monitored for progress, such as taking a new fitness class every month. Not only does this keep things interesting, it also means you have an achievable target for every month.

Don’t be overly ambitious

Setting ambitious goals is great, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed when you set your expectations too high and try to do too much at once. Focusing on a few key goals will make reaching your target more manageable – and will prevent disappointment at the end of the year.

These goals should be something that is important to you and will make the biggest difference in your life, so if your mental health has been weighing you down recently, or you want to give up smoking for good – make it a target to seek professional help this year to help you improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Strength in numbers

If you, like many, struggle to stick to your goals and hold yourself accountable, why not get some friends, family, or even colleagues involved? Setting a common goal – like learning a new language, or practising yoga – can be a great way to help everyone stay motivated and help you reach your New Year resolutions.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

It’s important to remember that everyone slips up sometimes – so if you skip a couple of workouts, or find yourself eating more takeaways than you’d planned, don’t be disheartened. Everyone has their ups and downs, but taking a slow and steady approach to your goals will help you recover from your mistakes and get back on track without ruining your overall progress. While radically changing lifestyle habits may work for some people, for the majority it can be incredibly difficult to maintain.

The start of a new year is always inspiring – a time when people finally set out to do the things that they’d been putting off for months, or even years. So take some time out to jot down your (achievable) goals, and set yourself up for success in 2019 by placing your health and wellbeing at the top of your priorities for the year.

Having worked as a GP for several years, Dr Zain Sikafi founded Mynurva to improve access to mental health support. Mynurva provides fast access to therapy or counselling, confidentially, securely and discreetly, via its live video platform. There are no waiting rooms, no travelling is required, and the service is confidential, discrete and secure.