Expert tips on how to stick to your New Year's resolutions in 2022

Posted at 8:13 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 08:13:09-05

(WXYZ) — According to a 2020 poll of YouGov, Millennials are more likely to make a New Year's resolution than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. And while there are slight differences year to year and between the generations, the most common resolutions are getting in shape, losing weight, saving money, and eating better.

New Year's resolutions are easy to make, but keeping them is hard.

Nonetheless, some Michiganders are ready to take the pledge of creating a better version of themself in 2022.

"I love New Year's resolutions," Michigander Rachel Chioreanu said. "I just love setting goals. I love trying to become better."

Others, not so much.

"We made resolutions not to make resolutions anymore," local resident Nicole Stropkai said.

For many, the start of the new year is a time to set new targets.

Sarah Feldman says she wants to be healthier in the New Year.

"I want balance in my life and I want to have rest and prioritize rest," she said.

But sticking to it can be hard.

"By January 30 you're done," Nicole Stropkai said. "You don't have any resolutions anymore. For the most part, they just go to the wayside."

It's an experience all too familiar.

"The biggest thing I tell my clients is 'remember your why.' Why are you doing this? It has to be worth it for you or else we are going to give up," Licensed Professional Counselor Kelly Houseman said.

Houseman says you also need to commit to the process of making a change, not just the outcome. That means being prepared to sacrifice.

"We have to commit to not only feeling great at the end when this is finished but also committing to maybe some uncomfortable feelings as we go through this process," Houseman said.

That means making the resolution knowing there will be mornings when going to the gym may mean sacrificing sleep or losing weight will mean skipping comfort food, sweets, and snacks.

Another tip is to make sure your goals are realistic. Do you have the resources, finances, motivation, or time to be successful?

"Making it something that's actually attainable for you is the most important, or else that's when we tend to give up early and feel pretty bad about ourselves," Houseman said.

Next, give yourself time to form lasting habits.

"Resolutions fade. You have to picture yourself in March and June and August. Don't aim for February. Aim for December," Dan Chioreanu said.

Houseman says research shows that it takes more than two months to make changes stick. So give yourself at least that much time before you reassess.

Another tip: set mini goals along the way and celebrate those mini wins.

"It shouldn't be a drudgery or else again, that's when we start to give up," Houseman said. "So reward yourself alone along the way, too. That's really important."

And if you slip up and break your diet or stop your workout routine? Forgive yourself and recommit.

Houseman says to make sure to focus on the process rather than the outcome. If you want to lose weight, what can you do to make the process more enjoyable? Do you like swimming? Then make that a big part of the process.