The start of a new year is often synonymous with a clean slate. It is viewed as an opportunity to reinvent yourself; build new habits and get rid of negative ones. However, researchers suggest that 43% of resolutions are abandoned by the end of January. There are a multitude of reasons for this, the most significant one being declining motivation. As we get comfortable in our routines again after the Christmas holidays, it is often difficult to incorporate new habits into that routine. I interviewed a friend on what her resolutions are and how she plans on sticking to them.  

Her first resolution was to exercise more, and she admitted it was a resolution she had every year but rarely stuck to for longer than a month. However, this year she has decided she will do her best to actually stick to it, by starting small. She explained, “I think the best way for me to actually get into the habit of exercising is to start by only doing it for about fifteen minutes, a couple times a week, and then slowly increasing the amount until I’ve developed a regular routine that I’m happy with.” 

Another resolution of hers is to read more. She told me how she’s always been an avid reader, however, has found herself not reading as much as she used to when she was younger. To build this habit back up, she has decided to read one chapter- or even just a few pages- each night, while also turning her phone on ‘do not disturb’ to decrease distractions. This way she hopes to reignite her love of reading and read at least one book each month of the year. 

Finally, she gave some general tips she thinks are useful for any resolution. She believes “the easiest way to build a habit is by starting small, and slowly introducing the new habit into your daily routine. It’s also very useful to discuss your resolutions and the progress you make with friends and family, as that way you have someone holding you accountable.”