New Year’s resolution

29. January 2021

How to keep them

How to keep them

Now that it is clear that there will be no New Year’s parties this year, we can dedicate ourselves to the good intentions that we make every year to mark the beginning of a new year.One definition of a New Year’s resolution is:

a resolution made on New Year’s Day to do a project or address a habit, often a lifestyle change that is seen as a positive one that would be continued throughout the following year.Throughout the following year?Let’s take a closer look first.

The wish is great, but what about reality? According to a Statista survey, only one in five Germans don’t break their New Year’s resolutions. Only 27% of those surveyed could say that they stick to their resolutions for more than two months. 36% admitted that they keep their resolutions for less than a month, sometimes not even a whole day.

And even sadder:3% only stick it out for a few hours, while 6% manage a whole day and another 6% make a week. 24% do say they manage to last between two weeks and a month.

You might think that Oscar Wilde is right about these numbers: “Good intentions are useless attempts to meddle with the laws of nature. Their origin is mere vanity and their results are absolute zero.” (Oscar Wilde) To be honest, it makes little sense to decide to do something while celebrating the New Year that you cannot or will not do. That’s pretty typical with New Year’s resolutions and their implementation.

According to surveys, half of all Germans wanted to spend less time on social media at the beginning of 2020, but the pandemic ruined that. Reducing stress was one of the most common resolutions for 2020 (67%), but whether they were successful in this pandemic year is doubtful.

64% had planned to do something to protect the climate in 2020. That might even have succeeded, albeit not entirely voluntarily, as our freedom of movement was severely restricted.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they are not binding, you haven’t undertaken any contractual obligation that you must fulfil or else.What’s going to happen if you once again fail to keep your New Year’s resolutions? Thank God there is no penalty! So it all depends on your discipline.

New to the list: consume less

Other popular resolutions are: a healthier diet, drink less alcohol, do more exercise and sport, finally lose weight, get enough sleep, spend more time with family, friends and yourself, and, of course, the one that should never be missing: quit smoking and, brand new to the list, consume less.

And then there are still numerous people who decide to read a book every month, to find a job that fulfils them, or who want to reinvent themselves.

The reality is that you don’t necessarily need the beginning of a new year to make good resolutions, but rather discipline. So that your plans don’t fall by the wayside, let’s take a different approach:

Setting clear goals is better than any resolution

These goals shouldn’t be excessive, as they can stress or demotivate you. If the goals are too ambitious and difficult to achieve, they’re quickly doomed to fail.Rethinking your own lifestyle is a good approach.

Something big is brewing here for the New Year

There is some good news on the subject of reducing consumption: unrestrained consumption is passé. For 70% of Germans, ethics have now become an integral part of their buying decisions. 20% even state that they have been shopping even more consciously according to ethical criteria since the pandemic hit. These were the findings of the fifth study on ethical consumption trends just published by the Otto Group.

This is probably also due to the fact that 70% of those questioned now see serious difficulties facing humankind and the environment if unbridled consumption continues. “The question of whether the way we live and do business needs to be corrected is being asked louder and louder“, summarises Alexander Birken, CEO of the Otto Group. “This was confirmed at least by the results of this fifth study of trends.

This also fits in with what we reported last year, that a large part of the population suddenly began to reflect on their lives and lifestyles. According to their statements, people want to live more consciously and more modestly, consume with moderation, and take better care of their health.

Nine out of ten Germans now pay attention to staying healthy and fit. After all, about half of your health can be influenced by lifestyle. The focus on health is replacing the previously dominant focus on consumption.

That sounds really good. With the help of two examples, we want to show you how you can implement your resolutions and thus achieve your goal.

How can I actually lose weight in 2021?

The annoying topic of finally losing weight is on the list of good resolutions every year. Every second person is still overweight, but according to a Forsa survey from the beginning of 2020, “only” 36% wanted to lose weight. Most failed to achieve that in 2020.

One example: Do you really want to eat less and healthier to lose weight? Tormenting yourself and giving up food entirely is the wrong way to go. First take an honest look at your eating habits! Where and how do you shop? Regionally and seasonally? What do you think of vegan food?

For weight loss, we still recommend the 16:8 method, which we have already presented several times. As a reminder: there are 16 hours between yesterday’s last meal and today’s first meal. Two meals are consumed in the eight hours that one is allowed to eat. So you don’t have to starve.

But you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Start slowly, preferably with one day a week and increase to two days in the following week and then to three days, and so forth. The goal of this method is long-term weight loss, and if you do it in small steps, you may actually lose weight for the first time.

“I want to lose weight” is a resolution, but not yet a specific target. A goal only becomes a goal if you clearly formulate how many pounds you want to lose in what time and constantly keep track of it. Example: I’ll lose one stone by summer.

Sport is again at the top of the list in 2021

At 57%, more exercise and sport are at the top of the list of good resolutions. Yet: doing more sport is also not a goal. Before setting goals, it is important to first clarify whether you want to lose weight with physical activities, stay fit, or get fitter.

Exercising is, of course, a good resolution, because sport prevents illness and makes you a happier. Of course, the question always arises: how much exercise is good for me and which kind.

The choice of sport is very individual; some like to get on their bikes, others prefer endurance sports and strength training, some like yoga, and many just want to go for a walk or jog.

Completely unrealistic resolutions

Unfortunately, even these commendable resolutions quickly go down the drain. There are good reasons for that. Let’s say you plan to run at least 25 miles every month in the New Year. Before you start doing that, you should first think about it.

Because you would have to run six miles a week. Only an experienced runner can do that. Second, can you do it all in one day, or do you need two or even three days to make 6 miles, and do you even have the time? If you ask yourself these questions, you quickly know that the resolution is too ambitious and completely unrealistic.

For example, anyone who sets out to run twice a week usually fails because twice a week doesn’t become a habit. To make your goal a habit, you would need to run every day for at least 30 days straight. If it doesn’t become a habit, you’ll end up faster than you’d like, back on the couch and your trainers in the basement.

Our advice is to start with small chunks that you can and will actually achieve. Don’t overwhelm yourself, otherwise you will quickly lose interest, and your good intentions for 2021 won’t succeed either!

We hope you achieve the most important goals that you have set yourself for 2021. The most important goal for 2021 should be: “Stay healthy”.

Your medisana health blog wishes you all the best for 2021.