At the beginning of a new year, thousands of people set resolutions to have a fresh start to a new chapter. Many of these resolutions are centered around physical and mental wellness, according to a recent survey by Forbes Health, with the most common being improved fitness (48%) and improved mental health (36%).
As people strive to foster personal wellbeing and brain health, they often adopt daily practices for self-improvement. Muse’s 2022 Brain Health Report sheds light on the fact that Americans tend to eat a healthy breakfast for better focus and mood, which boosts brain health scores by at least 14%. Similarly, meditation is a key tool for improving sleep, increasing brain health score by at least 20%.
While eating well, moving more, learning more, and taking breaks may all seem like simple tasks, we know it’s easier said than done, and only a few people stick with their resolutions for the long run.
In this article, we’re sharing effective tips to help you stay committed to your resolutions and achieve enduring success in your pursuit of wellbeing or whatever it may be. Let’s get started!
What is the success rate of New Year’s resolutions?
Estimates suggest as many as 80% of resolution-makers drop their goals by the second week of February. Research from the University of Scranton found that just 19% of people uphold their resolutions for at least a year.
Data from over 800 million user-logged activities published by the fitness app Strava found that January 19th is the day most people give up on their resolutions, dubbing it “Quitter’s Day.”
While these statistics can sound scary, this doesn’t mean you should give up on your resolutions! Here are seven tips and practical strategies to stay on track and achieve all your goals for the new year.
7 tips to help you keep your 2024 resolutions
1. Do a visualization exercise
What is it you really want? Set time aside to do a visualization meditation to explore and sit with what’s genuinely calling you from within. If your goals aren’t things you want to achieve, it will be much harder to maintain motivation. Forget what your friends, family, and society say you should strive for. Reflect on what feels meaningful for you.
2. Divide your resolutions into small daily steps
Most of us set lofty resolutions that can be overwhelming to achieve. Make things easier on yourself by breaking these goals into actions and habits you can accomplish daily.
Take, for example, weight loss goals. While you can’t control the numbers on the scale, you can control the work you do every day to achieve your goals. Instead of focusing on your weight, focus on moving your body every day. Concentrating on actions rather than results makes it easier to see your success as it unfolds and maintain motivation.
3. Set realistic goals
It’s important to have realistic expectations for what you can actually accomplish in a year. When we create big goals without an action plan or taking into account where we are and how we’re going to get to where we want to be, it can be a demotivating experience that discourages us from trying to achieve our dreams again. Set yourself up for success by dreaming big and acknowledging what you can realistically achieve in a year.
4. Sneak resolutions into your daily routine
According to habit expert and author of the book Atomic Habits, James Clear suggests one of the best ways to incorporate new habits is by attaching them to your current routine. Clear calls this approach “stacking,” instead of trying to replace habits, you simply connect them to activities you already do on autopilot throughout the day.
For instance, if you always make coffee in the morning, you can stack your desired new meditation habit while waiting for your cuppa to be ready.
5. Tell people what you admire about your goals
Research shows that telling people about your goals can increase your odds of success! With one caveat — it can’t be just anyone. A study from Ohio State University found that people were more motivated and successful in achieving their goals when they shared them with someone they respected, admired, or perceived as having a higher status than them. Because you don’t want to let the person down, sharing your goal with them can help hold you accountable and overcome obstacles to achieve your larger goals.
6. If you’re struggling, explore what’s holding you back
If you find it hard to stay motivated, treat yourself with grace and patience. You’re likely finding it hard to let go of a bad habit, start fresh, and reach your goals. Spend some time meditating on the new goal or habit you’re struggling with to explore what may be holding you back.
Consider without judgment why you might be scared of making this change or what your current habit is doing to make you feel safe, in control, and comfortable. Once you identify what’s prompting this resistance from within, it becomes easier to dissolve or reconsider your approach.
7. Don’t let missing a day or two keep you down!
It’s natural to miss a day or two along the way – just don’t give up! It’s how we recover from those off-days that truly define us. In fact, slip-ups can actually increase our ability to achieve our goals in the long term, depending on how we react to them. So, if you need a day or two, take it and come back to your new habits when you’re ready.
Are mental health wellness and meditation your goals for this year?
If improved mental health and practicing regular meditation are your goals for this year, we’re excited to share our tips with you!
At Muse, we’re proud to share our world-leading EEG technology through our brain-sensing headbands, trusted by esteemed institutions such as NASA, Harvard, and MIT.
Our EEG headsets employ cutting-edge algorithms to train meditators of all levels, including beginners and intermediates, to regulate their focus. In fact, 72% of Musers have reported experiencing better focus and clarity. The Muse S Headband, which provides non-invasive interventions for restful sleep, is capable of enhancing sleep quality by up to 20%.
For those new to meditation with Muse, our app provides access to over 500 guided and unguided sessions, offering real-time biofeedback to deepen your understanding of brain activity during meditation.
Ready to conquer your meditation journey and prioritize mental health this year? Kickstart your resolution by joining thousands of other Musers in our monthly meditation challenges. Sign-ups for our challenges happen monthly – we can’t wait to see you there!