Updated: Jan 25
We're just shy of a month into the new year. How are you doing on those resolutions?
Studies show, of the roughly 40% of people who make New Year's resolutions, nearly one in four won't make it past the first week, only 36% of people are still on track after a month, and only 9% of people say they kept it through the whole year. You know what? That's ok.
Making new habits is tough. Breaking old ones can seem an insurmountable task. One study found that for habits to become automatic, it takes an average of two months, although it may take up to eight.
This takes time. It takes failure. And you're not alone. Hi, I'm Daria. And I've failed at a thing or two in my life. See? We make great company.
Part of the issue might lie in expectation. 43% of people expect to fail by the end of February. Well there's your problem. Have you ever heard the saying, "Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're right."? How can you expect to succeed if you don't expect to succeed? You can't.
My brother (pictured below, right) ran track and cross country in high school, and believe me when I tell you that from the first finisher all the way to the one that brought up the rear ten minutes behind the pack, every one of them was giving it their all. They all believed they could make it, and that belief sustained them until they carried their exhausted, beleaguered bodies across the finish line. Some sprinted, some stumbled, but they all made it. And I never saw one dragging their feet, because that is not the type of attitude that is going to get you what you want.
Determination. That's what's going to see you through. And no, you don't pull determination out of thin air. Like my brother, you need a team of loved ones cheering you on. Find someone to help hold you accountable until your new habits become second nature.
So, you signed up for a gym membership on January 2nd, and by January 7th, you'd forgotten you had a gym membership. So what? Keep trying.
New Year's resolutions are great, but don't use them as a procrastination tool. "Oh, I messed up. I'll try again next year," knowing full well next year is 11 and a half months away. If the urge to create change strikes you in January, February, October, or December, act on it. For some people, the new year is a great motivator and just what they needed, but January 1st is just a day like any other.
It takes perseverance to get back up once you've stumbled. I've got more respect for someone who tried, failed, and tried again than I do for someone that never tried in the first place.
Keep going. You've got this.