So two thirds of the first month of the new Year are already over. Statistics are not very kind to those that have started a new habit or are following a goal. The NHS reckons that only 10% actually stick to them in the long. Of a population polled by the health care insurer BUPA, 66% don’t even last into the month of February.
As Humans however, we seem to have the unique ability to think one day that we are starting anew. That despite us failing in the past, it doesn’t mean we are going to fail again.
Studies have shown that there are better times in our lives to start a new habit, and there are times when its just so hard.
Think of the first day of spring to start a new habit, to leave old habits behind and compare that with the 3rd Friday in March. People that are starting a new habit on the first day of spring are a lot more motivated than those, starting on the 3rd Friday in March. A big anniversary is more of a motivator than any other random year.
Changing habits and starting new ones can be made even less challenging when you combine vices! If you, like me, love listening to podcasts for example, save the best one for when you are in the gym. That way you can only listen to it whilst exercising. Very successful experiments have been done with people listening to a thrilling audiobook. The idea of hearing that next chapter of the book was motivating enough to make a real difference in the attendance to a gym and with the goal of being more active was achieved.
It is proven that even 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day has great health and mental heath benefits so it may be a great idea too look into getting more active that way.
Knowing that combining one of the things you really love doing with an activity you really dread can really make a difference, though it may require a bit of creativity at times.
I get through washing the dishes that way.
I got the idea for this post from a Podcast I listened to recently. If you want to listen to it and hear how experts talk about the issue of new Years resolutions in a very entertaining and educating way,
listen to The Happiness Lab. Its a podcast series from a Yale professor who is trying to educate people to live healthier and happier lives. The particular podcast I am referring to is the 2020 Bonus edition: A new Hope