It is that time of year where many of us look back at the past year and decide what needs to change going forward into 2019. A lot of people decide on health-related goals that require constant action and maintenance (weight loss, workouts, better eating), or financial goals (saving money requires daily effort, too!). But for some, they were in the exact same place last January, and perhaps the January before. Could another new year bring more failure? It depends on how one looks at and responds to “failure.” When people look at failure as a temporary slip, and get right back on track towards their goals upon recognizing they had an off day, they were very much likely to achieve their goals (Cornell, n.d.).
While it helps to have a realistic goal, such as going to the gym three times a week as opposed to everyday, what also makes a huge difference is believing you can achieve your goals in the first place; and being dedicated and persistent enough to stay on track after slipping, not dwelling on having a bad day to the point that you give up. In fact, it’s a good idea to go into your resolution endeavors knowing there will be bad days (you might not make it to the gym on the days you planned, or you may cheat on your diet because someone at work brought in treats, etc.). Just accept that things happen, you are human, and that the next day is a new chance to reach your goals.
Case in point: a recent study found that 71 percent of people who successfully reached their new year’s goal slipped in January. And for many, the doubled their efforts when they got back at it. So don’t look at slipups as a form of failure, look at it as a way to kick yourself back into gear, one day at a time.
At Extension, we are all about seeing behavior change happen, so be sure to look for programs throughout the year to help you reach your health and financial goals. Happy New Year!
Cornell (n.d.). How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved from https://evidencebasedliving.human.cornell.edu/2018/01/03/how-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions/