Time to Make Your New Year's Resolutions
It's that time of year. January is the time of year when people the world over make New Year's resolutions. They make them and, one week later, are confident in their ability to exercise more, drink less, or pay off debt. And then, if you're like 36% of people, 1 month later you'll no longer be so confident.
The problem with most resolutions, and the reason that many people fail to accomplish them, is because the resolutions (and goals) are too lofty or unrealistic, people don't track their progress or plan for how to achieve them, or because they didn't have the skills necessary to achieve their goal.
Give Yourself the Best Chance at Success
But there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance at success.
1. Develop the necessary skills and mindset ahead of time.
Multiple studies have shown that self‐efficacy and readiness to change predicted positive outcomes for those who made New Year’s resolutions, as did having the skills necessary to change.
Setting small and measurable goals - such as “lose 1 pound a week” instead of “lose weight” - resulted in more achievement of New Year’s resolutions.
2. Ask a question instead of making a declaration.
The “question-behavior effect” is a phenomenon in which asking people about performing a certain behavior influences whether they do it in the future. For example “Will I exercise – yes or no?” may be more effective than declaring, “I will exercise.”
3. Get plenty of sleep.
No matter what your resolution is - improve performance at work, eat healthier, quit smoking, spend more time with friends - sleep is a critical factor in the success (or failure). So go to sleep!
4. Change your timing.
You don't necessarily have to wait for the new year to make a resolution. Sometimes, the success of a resolution that is focused on altering a habit can hinge on finding the right moment to make the change. Embedding the change you want in other changes, such as moving to a new home can help multiple changes stick!
If You Only Make One Resolution, Make it This One
Even if you are not a person who makes resolutions, I'd encourage you to try making this one: Try a new food. It certainly doesn't have to be every day. Or even every week. Even if it's just once per month, make a commitment with your family to try one new food. (Research shows that your young kids will need on average 15 times trying this new food before it's something familiar, and for older kids it take even more than that, so maybe you consider trying new foods more than once a month.)
Taking what we learned above you can ask yourself and your family "Can we try one new food each week?", arm yourself with these free resources on our website so you have all the skills you need to introduce new foods, try introducing something new at breakfast or lunch (instead of dinner, which might be the usual time you'd think to do that) and ... you can make sure you get plenty of sleep so that you'll have all the patience you need to handle any "I don't like this!" declarations you receive. ;)
Happy New Year,