New Year, Fresh Start

New Year, Fresh Start

Scientifically Proven Ways to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions

It’s time to switch the silly seasons for slow serenity. There is often an expectation to relax and recharge over the holidays, but the reality can often have us at our most burnt out as we head into the new year. As we step into 2023 we might have the best of intentions. But a study conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton found that 23% of people quit their resolution after just one week.

Before you set your resolutions let’s reflect on how best to keep them so you can start as you mean to go on.

1. Make a To Do List

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”—Mark Twain.

It’s not just nice to tick something off: It’s scientifically proven that to-do lists work. In a study conducted by professors Baumeister and Masicampo results showed that while incomplete tasks cause us distraction and anxiety, the process of writing them down relieves this stress and makes us more likely to follow through with them.

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2. Don’t expect it to feel easy overnight

They say your habits determine your future. But to form one you need to give yourself time for it to become, well, a habit. According to Phillippa Lally in her study published for European Journal of Social Psychology it takes an average of around 2 months for a habit to become automatic behaviour. Meaning there is no need to throw in the towel after a couple of weeks if new routines aren’t coming naturally, and if you miss a day, that’s okay too. Take small steps, one day at a time, be kind to yourself and embrace the journey.

3. You don’t need to be perfect

Starting a new class? Picking up a new hobby? Maybe you’re quitting something. How we measure our success plays a huge role in how likely we are to stick to our goals - so make them realistic. If the measure of success is becoming a professional in a particular thing or turning a hobby into a career, then the goalposts might be out of reach, and the enjoyment of that activity will be distorted. It’s important not to compare yourselves to others or aim for perfection in a task. Instead set goals that are reachable and you will find yourself far more likely to commit to them.

4. Take a break

It’s not just about taking time for lunch. A 2017 study by Kim, Park and Niu investigating micro-breaks discovered that relaxation and social interaction throughout the working day lead to increased productivity and an overall more positive working experience. Something as simple as speaking with a friend or taking time for a coffee can give you a refreshed perspective.

5. Work on your goals when you feel good

If you expect willpower to be your sole motivation, you might find your goals harder to stick to. In Malinda McPherson essay for the science journal Nature she found a link between increased creativity and positive emotion. Resolutions don’t need to be carried out every day to be successful and carving out time when you feel good can lead to better creativity and an increased likeness to stick with them.

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Keep in mind that resolutions can be hard! If you're trying something new, or something that will require you to work on yourself, it's going to be difficult. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. You just need the right tools and support system in place so you can make the most of your efforts and stay committed long-term.

Looking for Karst tools to help you stick to your resolutions?

For Habits: Praxis

For Productivity: Daily Action Pad 

For Organisation: 2023 planner