We know, we know. It’s a bore, isn’t it? New year, new you, new start. You can’t check social media or read a newspaper without being bashed around the head with advice and ‘top tips’ about making bullet proof new year’s resolutions you’ll really stick to.

There’s something about the 1st January that subconsciously suggests you ought to leap out of bed and become an improved version of yourself.

There’s no doubt that writing a list of resolutions can act as a powerful tool to better your lifestyle and wellbeing, but for most of us, getting your thoughts down on paper is the easy part. It’s the bit that comes next which is more of a struggle and you’re soon feeling the pressure of not keeping the promises you made yourself.

Resolutions are notoriously hard to stick to, especially when it comes to things we’ve been procrastinating about for the preceding 11 months. And the feeling of failing yourself is a bitter pill to swallow, when your original goal was a better version of your current self.

But you’re not alone.

A recent study revealed that only 8% of people who make new year’s resolutions actually stick to them. And it’s not hard to see why. You can’t hope to change the habits of a lifetime overnight. It’s more than likely that if you’ve not committed to hitting the gym three times a week before the first day of the new year, you’re probably not going to nail it due to the date change.

And while considering and setting new year’s resolutions has a positive effect on your self-worth and overall wellbeing, not seeing them through can be detrimental.

So, if you’re beating yourself up about flagging a few days in, don’t! You’re not the only one – in fact 92% of people who left the starting blocks with a list just like yours, are also ready to throw the towel in.

And the evidence that new year’s resolutions are actually bad for your health means you can delete that spreadsheet without a modicum of guilt.

Why?

Stress

January is widely acknowledged to be the most stressful month of the year. And that’s largely down to the UK population’s love of making new year’s resolutions. And the pressure that accompanies those pledges. Before you know it, your well-intentioned goals can become a source of anxiety and stress, as you struggle to stick to them, and feel bad about failing. No-one needs that weight on their shoulders – especially given the current climate.

Burn out

As humans navigating 2021 and all that entails, our days are full to the brim. And so are our brains. Opportunities for self-care can feel limited and worries about our health and finances bubble under the surface. Keeping your head above water provides challenge enough in our busy lives. Add a catalogue of new year’s resolutions to that and the chances are you’re going to suffer burn out.

Guilt

Considered to raise cortisol levels, guilt can be terrible for your health, increasing your blood pressure and as a knock-on effect, your risk of illness. Carrying around the feeling that you’ve compromised your own standards by not sticking to your resolutions is something you could do without. This year, more than ever.

Depression

Failing at anything is a miserable experience. But failing during the first month of a new year after pinning your hopes on a fresh start is downright depressing. And we all know depression can have devastating outcomes.

Of course, there’s no doubt that when accomplished, incremental changes to your health, wellbeing, finances or relationships can be of huge benefit. But maybe there are better ways to go about bagging them, than new year’s resolutions?

If you’re looking for ways to create new habits and make lifestyle changes, check out our earlier advice here.

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