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The Ultimate Guide to Sticking to Your New Year's Resolution (2022)

The Ultimate Guide to Sticking to Your New Year's Resolution - With New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions which can be daunting. Here is our ultimate guide on sticking to our goals in a healthy way.

In this article:

  1. What does New Year's Resolution mean?

  2. Who invented New Year Resolutions?

  3. Why is it Important to have a New Year's Resolution

  4. What New Year’s Resolution to keep?

  5. What are the Top 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions?

  6. When to make a New Year’s Resolution?

  7. How to write a New Year's Resolution?

  8. Why do New Year Resolutions fail?

  9. How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

  10. Are New Year's Resolutions healthy?

  11. Are New Year’s Resolutions bad for you?

  12. New Year’s Resolution and Mental Health

  13. New Year’s Resolution and Goals

  14. New Year’s Resolution and Intention

When it comes to keeping to New Year’s resolutions, most of us fail and pledge not to ever make them again.

And yet, when the New Year arrives, the rest of us are forever hopeful, believing without any real proof that we can make our lives better, that change is possible, and that we won't be trapped in the same old loop again this year.

What does New Year's Resolution mean?

A New Year's Resolution is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as "a strong resolution made on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to do or refrain from doing something throughout the course of the future year." [1]

New Year's Eve is the pinnacle of the holiday season, and it's best enjoyed with friends, family, and festivities.

However, once the celebration has over and the dust has settled, the days following January 1 may be unsettling, with a full year's gaping possibilities prompting some individuals to reassess their lives.

Who invented New Year Resolutions?

The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first to create New Year's resolutions some 4,000 years ago. [2]

During Akitu, a massive 12-day religious ceremony, they either installed a new king or reaffirmed their devotion to the present ruler.

They told the Gods that they would pay their debts and return whatever objects they had borrowed. These vows might be seen as forerunners of our New Year's resolutions. [3]

Why is it Important to have a New Year's Resolution?

Keeping a New Year’s Resolution can be beneficial in many ways even if you don’t follow through with them. Here’s why:


Making New Year's resolutions is an essentially hopeful and optimistic concept. You believe that things will improve for you, your job, or your neighbourhood.

This optimistic outlook on the future, in effect, tends to encourage action.

Setting Intentions

The first step in making a resolve is to be honest with yourself about your present circumstances in order to figure out how to get to your desired state. [4]

When you're going forward with a clear plan, you're contributing to your emotional and mental wellness. Being deliberate about however you want to grow and develop can help you reach your goals.

Serving as Inspiration

When you strive to be better, perform better, or participate more completely, you often encourage others to do the same. [5]

When you concentrate on the future and strive for development, you inevitably inspire people around you. [6]

As a result, even if you don't maintain all of your resolutions, the act of creating them and working toward them will benefit both you and others.

What New Year’s Resolution to keep?

When it comes to establishing a resolve, we frequently find ourselves befuddled and bewildered.

Here's how to choose a resolve to better your life that is both achievable and meaningful.

Create Specific Goals

Our resolution should be clear. Making a defined objective is critical if we are to attain it. [7]

For example, if we want to set a goal, ask yourself: How much weight do you want to lose and when do you want to lose it?

Setting a number and a definite time period for your goal, makes it more effective. [8]

Goals should be Achievable

This does not exclude us from setting substantially challenging goals. However, aiming to take too huge a step or having high expectations may leave you unhappy if it is not met. [9]

It may have an affect on other aspects of your life to the point where your goal takes control.

Make Relevant Goals

Your resolutions should be about what is important to us, not about what someone else or society tells you to alter.

Set a Time

Setting an attainable goal inside a manageable time frame offers you ample time to complete it with a slew of other intermediate goals along the way. [10]

What are the Top 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions?

Each year, the repeating themes include a more active attitude to health and fitness, better finances, and learning something new for personal and professional growth. Here are some of the top ten New Year's Resolutions made:

  1. Lose Weight

  2. Exercise more

  3. Getting Organised

  4. Learn a New Hobby

  5. Save Money

  6. Quit Smoking

  7. Spend time with Family and Friends

  8. Travel

  9. Read more often

  10. Eat healthier

When to make a New Year’s Resolution?

Some individuals like the annual custom of establishing a goal on January 1. Others think that it is a waste of time because the majority of resolutions fail by mid-March. [11]

Despite the bleak statistics, there is a rationale to hopping on the New Year's resolution bandwagon.

Dates such as New Year's, your birthday, and even Mondays - you're more driven to achieve your goals because you believe you can turn a page on past mistakes. Perhaps you intended to stop smoking, get in shape. A new year allows you to put those mistakes in the past and convince yourself that things would be different. [12]

How to write a New Year's Resolution?

Here are a few tips on how to write effective New Year’s Resolutions so they can be achieved.

  • Positive language should be used to express your aspirations. For example, rather than writing "Don't eat unhealthy food," write "Eat healthier food."

  • Set precise goals with dates, times, and measurable quantities to measure your success.

  • Set concrete performance goals and utilise action verbs that can be witnessed and assessed rather than abstract and subjective objectives.

  • Prioritising chores keeps you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed by directing your attention to critical decisions and actions that are directly related to your goals.

Clarify your priorities in order to make the most of your time.

  • Find novel methods to include certain duties related to your goal into your calendar. Time management takes effort and dedication.

Determine how much time you can use in a period of 24 hours to spend on actions that will assist you in meeting your goals.

Why do New Year’s Resolutions fail?

Despite our noble intentions, we struggle to keep our resolutions. Most people explain their inability to keep resolutions on time constraints, finances, or drive, or on a loss of ardour after getting started. [13]

According to research, only about 20 percent of people are able to follow through with their resolutions. The majority of people abandon their resolutions within the first to six weeks after commencing, and many of them are renewed year after year. [14]

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons New Year’s Resolutions fail.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

People either create extremely ambitious goals that become unattainable rapidly, or they set reasonably simple objectives that they quickly tire of.

You must adjust your behaviour in order to sustain a resolution, so be sure that your ambitions are acceptable.

Lack Of Accountability

Maintaining a can do attitude requires keeping a complete account of your training progress.

For example, if you're trying to lose weight, keep track of the exercises you do, the amount of reps you complete, and so on so you can see how well you're doing.

Regularly improving your performance provides good feedback that motivates you to keep going. [15]

Not Being Specific Enough

One of the most common reasons individuals fail to follow their New Year's resolutions is that they are too vague. [16]

Resolving to "spend less" or "save more" without deciding how much you want to save, for example, is an easy way to set yourself up for failure since you won't be able to track your progress and will be less likely to stay motivated throughout the year.

Not Relevant to You

Another big stumbling block is the tendency for individuals to set New Year's resolutions that do not represent their true desires.

Like setting a career or fitness goal based on what you believe others expect of you.

For example, if you were planning to change careers not because you wanted it, but because your family required it. You will be less likely to be driven to seek a new position.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Our quest for keeping resolutions may not be perfect. But we can

Self-control, planning, resilience, and deliberate action are some of the necessary skills needed to follow through with any goal. [17]

However, in addition to these known, established qualities, here are some tips to help you keep your resolutions.

Stress Management

When people are stressed, they are less likely to be at their productive best.

De-stressing and re-establishing cognitive control were shown to be beneficial when participants felt worried, off balance, or out of sorts, according to a study conducted at Providence College. [18]

They were able to exercise better self-control after watching photos of city life or experiencing nature in the research.

Take a stroll, take a deep breath, spend time with supportive peers, or listen to music to achieve peace and control. You can better regulate your behaviour if you can de-stress.

You may wish to read “What Is Self-Care: Why It Is Important and Tips to Take Care Of Yourself” and “The Science of Stress: 5 Ways To Reduce Your Allostatic Load

Be Kind To Yourself

Having negative self-talk can have a detrimental impact on how we go about our resolutions. [19]

Use positive inner dialogue to help you stick to your resolutions. Reassure yourself that you have the confidence and ability to form new alliances and partnerships.

Physical Fitness

Exercise can be a New Year's resolve in and of itself, but by working out more regularly, you'll be able to keep all of your other New Year's plans as well.

Keeping your obligations and persisting in the face of adversity necessitates the involvement of the executive function portion of your brain.

Even brief bouts of exercise can stimulate blood flow to the frontal lobe, which is responsible for learning and memory and greater brain function. [20]

Have a Partner

Partner up with a colleague, a family member or a friend. This will ensure accountability and motivation to work towards your goal. [21]

Be selective in picking who you spend your time with. Stick close to those who are skilled at demonstrating their personal control if you wish to drink less at work events as their decisions will influence yours.

Stick to an approach that works for you in order to keep your promises. Consider fresh ways that might help you become even more powerful and ruthless in your decision-making.

If you stick to your goals, you'll see a difference in your progress, growth, and professional advancement.

Are New Year's Resolutions healthy?

New Year's resolutions appear to be an excellent opportunity to reflect on the previous year and create goals for the next year.

Unfortunately, by February, about 80% of people had abandoned their plans. [22]

Commitments that will change your life are difficult to make. This makes us wonder if New Year's Resolutions are harmful.

Are New Year’s Resolutions bad for you?

If the thought of making New Year's resolutions makes you feel anxious, consider abandoning the practice.

Most individuals who make New Year's goals don't keep them, according to research, and mental health experts believe that alternative tactics for forming healthy habits are more effective.

Setting a New Year's resolution isn't always a negative thing. Unless you're doing it out of a sense of responsibility or pressure, such as when you feel obligated to make a New Year's resolution to join in with everyone else, things may get tricky. [23]

We often tend to make unrealistic goals, or fall into the toxic social pressure of creating a resolution which is bound to fail. [24]

You may wish to read "Lessons We Learnt From Netflix’s Singles Inferno: How To Deal With Social Anxiety" or “Social Anxiety: The Complete Guide Singapore (2022)"

New Year’s Resolution and Mental Health

While the new year represents a fresh start full of possibilities, there is frequently a lot of pressure to be better models of ourselves.

However, there seems to be an underlying rule that resolves must be all or nothing. Our competitive society has instilled in us the concept of penalising ourselves if we don't succeed at anything, and we might wind up hurting ourselves even more as a result. [25]

This pressure to succeed well and meet these unrealistic expectations may cause us to fail more than it helps us succeed.

When we fail, it may have a detrimental influence on our mental health and can prolong a cycle of reverting to old patterns. [26]

The expectation to bring change based on a conventional schedule, such as New Year's Day, might result in heightened anxiety or despair.If you have indications of anxiety or depression, we should consult with a mental health professional or reconsider our resolution entirely. [27]

New Year’s Resolution and Goals

Choose little steps or “goals” rather than great, unrealistic gestures to increase your chances of success in adopting healthy habits, and be tactical with those other steps along the way.

Here is how you can do healthy goal settings, instead of relying on New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Pick the right time for Yourself. There is nothing special about the first of January which makes achieving objectives simpler than it is at other times of the year.

Choose a day and time that is convenient for you.

  • Experiment. You may learn as you go when you approach your aim as an experiment. Goals should be set over shorter periods of time. [28]

That way, there's a chance to change the aim depending on what's working and what isn't.

  • Keep Trying. Changing one's behaviour or habits can be difficult. So don't be disheartened if you don't achieve your aim the first several times. [29]

New Year’s Resolution and Intention

While a New Year can be a chance to examine areas for improvement, studies show that addressing objectives in a less-pressured manner is preferable, especially while uncertain times continue to be difficult for mental health.

Instead, we should aim to shift focus on setting intentions or goals that are achievable regardless of the time and day.

Intentions provide us a place of compassion and growth, whereas resolutions can evoke sentiments of good or terrible, success or failure. [30]

You may also enjoy "Are New Year's Resolutions Powerful or Pointless?"


At frankie, we make mental healthcare and wellness easy for all with just one small task a day. Head on guided wellness journeys that understand your stressors or triggers or work with our behavioural and wellness professionals - all from the comfort and privacy of your home. Sign up for our Closed BETA here.


About Our Writer

Shahana is an avid pop culture enthusiast with a penchant for all things fashion. Living life with a pinch of sass and a generous dollop of flair, she finds herself collecting crystals and playing with tarot cards. Tell her your date of birth and she’d draw your birthchart for you. A young girl with a million dreams and billion hopes, prepping up for a future in this exciting world.


This editorial section solely expresses the opinion of frankie and is not endorsed nor commissioned by any external party. The list is non-exhaustive. At frankie, we believe that your best provider of medical advice is your doctor. Please consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment or procedure.



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