New years bring new hopes, dreams and goals. Most of us aim for January to be the turn of a new leaf. We make resolutions to do the things we most loathe, or acts we didn’t achieve in the previous year. If you make a resolution for the new year, you are among the other 40% of Americans. Now here’s the bad news: according to Forbes, about 8% of those who make New Year’s resolutions achieve them. So right off the bat those thoughts of better eating habits, working out 3-4 times a week and losing those ten pounds most likely will not come true. Why is that? When we make a resolution, most likely we are hoping to create a new habit that will better ourselves, and give ourselves about 30 days to achieve. So to set ourselves up for success, we need to understand what it takes to successfully create a habit. First of all, depending on your willingness, it will take anywhere from 18 to 254 days (yes that is about 8 ½ months!) to create a habit. And if you are talking about big goals such as altering your lifestyle to eat cleanly and embed exercise into your life, I would put money that it will take you the good part of 2016 to achieve your goal.
So am I saying don’t dream big? Of course not. What I’m saying is – don’t be so hard on yourself. Come February if you only reached / achieved your goal for 5 out of the 30 days in January, well done you! That’s 5 more days you didn’t do in December. Now on to February – let’s make it 8 days. Small goals will add up to your big ones. Give yourself an opportunity to succeed. The small successes will, some day, add up to a healthy habit.