Before the first month of the year has even come to an end, most people have given up on their annual commitment to themselves. Research conducted by Strava, the social network for athletes, has discovered that Saturday, Jan. 12 is the fateful day of New Year’s resolutions.
After analyzing more than 31.5 million online global activities last January, Strava was able to pinpoint the date when most people report failing their resolution.
“Sticking to resolutions is hard and we all know there’s a lot of talk and pressure in January about getting fitter and being healthier,” Gareth Mills from Strava told The Independent.
“A key factor in success is motivation and analyzing millions of activity uploads, we’ve been able to pinpoint the day your motivation is most likely to waver.”
According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, while around 80 percent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, says U.S. clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani. Roughly 55 percent of New Year’s resolutions were health-related, such as exercising more, eating healthier and getting out of financial debt, according to the science journal The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Unrealistic expectations were a big drive in failed resolutions.
But it’s not all grim. There’s hope, it’s just about how you set up resolutions. Dr. Carly Moores, associate lecturer at Flinders University and registered nutritionist, said if your goal is to lose weight or improve lifestyle habits, try not to make too many changes at all once.
“Start with small changes and continue to build on these or try to tackle one change at a time,” Dr. Moores said. “Try to set yourself goals, reflect on your progress towards these, acknowledge that changes can be hard, and results won’t happen overnight … or even in the first two weeks of the new year.”
Dr. Marcelo Campos, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, said writing goals down can help us to achieve them because it feels like more of a commitment.
Writing in a blog post for Harvard Health, Dr. Campos explained that answering five specific questions can give you a push in the right direction when it comes to sticking to New Year’s resolutions.
The questions are; Why do you want to make the change? Is your goal concrete and measurable? What is your plan? Who can support you as you work toward change? How will you celebrate your victories?
“January 1st is just a day in the calendar. You can reset your calendar every day for a fresh start. Go back to the beginning and revisit that first question to remind yourself of the rewards of making the change,” Dr. Campos said.
The Strava study found that if exercising was one of your resolutions, then working with others encouraged more activity, while joining a club boosted people’s activity 46 percent.