From New Year Resolution to Habit and Lifestyle: Read Our Golden Rules to Success

From New Year Resolution to Habit and Lifestyle: Read Our Golden Rules to Success

With 2022 just around the corner, the topic of conversation with friends and family always seems to come back to that one key question - What’s your resolution? Brimming with good intentions of eating healthily or starting that new gym routine we’ve seen on Instagram, we’re all excited about the potential for our new and improved self. But year upon year, if you find it difficult to stick to these resolutions, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Studies have shown that less than 25% of people stay committed to their resolutions after 30 days and only 8% actually accomplish them! Well, that’s no surprise. Oftentimes, resolutions take a lot of our time, energy, and investment before we start to notice visible changes in our lifestyle and mindset. And if we don’t set our resolutions for the right reasons, it can be really hard to stick to them. We, at med(24), are here to break down the psychology of your New Year resolutions and help you actually keep them this year.

What’s the golden ticket to a resolution that sticks? Turns out, it’s your motivation for doing it. Often, our motivational state is related to two key factors: intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors. Our intrinsic motivation comes from pursuing an activity purely for the enjoyment of it. On the other hand, extrinsic motivations are related to external drivers like money, prizes, or recognition from others. You want to choose resolutions that you’re intrinsically motivated to complete, since they lead to positive emotional feelings and satisfaction, which can help us stick to our long term goals. 

We recommend starting with just one resolution that you’re passionate about. To keep your resolutions alive past the thirty-day mark, try thinking about your resolutions as new healthy habits and reward yourself each time.

Building habits can be hard, but it all comes down to a simple formula, offering no shortcuts or easy solutions. We need to turn our resolutions into routines before they can become a habit. According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, there are four stages involved in this routine-forming process.

 

Step 1: The Cue

The first step is the cue, which triggers and reminds your brain to do an activity. This could be as simple as setting an alarm or placing an object in your path. For example, if your goal is to practice yoga for 30 minutes every weekday, set your yoga mat next to your work laptop and block out that time in your calendar.

 

Step 2: The Craving

The second step is the craving, which is your body’s intrinsic motivation for actually doing the activity. Everyone’s cravings are different - for example, you might be motivated to pick up that yoga mat because you feel stressed and need an outlet. So take some time to reflect inwards and think about why you want to accomplish your resolution. Then, think about how good your mind and body feel after you complete the action. Remembering this great feeling can help you revv back into action the next day.

 

Step 3: The Response

The third step is your response to the craving, where you’ll actually do the action of practicing yoga for 30 minutes. Now, we all know how easy it is to get distracted right before you get started and burn through thirty minutes looking for the right video or playlist before you begin. Accordingly, this step requires the most physical and mental effort, so try to make it as easy for yourself as possible! Streamlining the response step could include preparation like keeping your workout videos queued up, curating your playlist the night before, or meal prepping over the weekends.

 

Step 4: The Reward

The final step of forming a habit is receiving a reward. This ties back in with the craving step - how do you feel after doing the activity and how satisfying is this feeling? For example, if you start noticing a blissful feeling of relaxation after your yoga practice, you’ll start to associate yoga with a craving to release stress. These positive feelings are the happy hormones being released within our body, which ultimately train us to repeat the action. Practicing yoga becomes your go to method of reducing stress as your mind starts to tie those events and feelings together.

The road ahead to building a habit and accomplishing your resolution will require patience, compassion, and commitment. If you start to find yourself facing roadblocks or feeling demotivated, that’s ok, and perfectly normal! Seek support from your friends, friends, life coaches, and those with similar goals when needed. Remember, January 1st isn’t the only chance you’ll have to make a change to your life. You can start any day, as long as you choose the right goal and the right mindset to make a change. And most importantly, make sure that the goal you’re setting for yourself is something that you really want to achieve.

We wish you all the best of luck with your New Year (or anytime) resolutions! Enjoy the process as you embark on healthier lifestyles and work towards a more balanced mind and body.

If you’d like additional support figuring out the right goals to set for yourself, we have a few options to help. Our Sports Performance Assessment examines whether you are genetically strength or cardio inclined through DNA testing, so you can get the best results, the most natural way for your body. If you’re keen on developing a healthy food plan, our Nutritional Assessment will help find the right balance for you.