5 Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions and Why They Fail

Happy New Year, everyone! This being the start of 2018, it’s very likely that we feel supercharged and uber-motivated to begin the year right. However, most of us may see the same resolutions appearing year after year, without much progress. Why are New Year’s resolutions so inspiring to make and yet, so easy to break?

Here are the 5 most popular resolutions people make but fail to keep, plus ways to help you succeed.

1. Eat Healthily

We all know that effective weight loss begins in the kitchen. Studies have shown that making specific food choices accounts for 80% of weight loss efforts. So, this is an awesome resolution, but it can be unsustainable when done wrong.

  •  Why most people fail:
    • They start out too strong and are overly ambitious. Overnight, they get rid of the ‘sinful’ food that they used to love and start eating only bland, steamed or raw foods.
    • This is too jarring for the mind and body to adapt. After a few days of this, you’re ready to throw in the towel and head out to the nearest fast food joint to stuff your face silly all the food that you’ve missed.
  • How to ace this:
    • Take it slow and steady. Simple rules work because they are so simple to implement. Done on a consistent basis, you’ll start seeing results and begin liking the new changes you’ve made. They become a way of life instead of something to be dreaded.
    • Here are five simple rules for healthy eating that you can implement one at a time. Once you’ve mastered one, you can add another rule. Apply all five rules consistently and you’ll be more likely to see great, lasting results.
            1. Drink more water, at least 2 litres per day.
            2. Eat slowly.
            3. Have protein and fruit and vegetables with meals.
            4. Eat until you feel like you’re 80% full.
            5. Drink zero calorie beverages (don’t drink your calories)

2. Exercise More 

It’s great to pair your healthy eating with exercise for a wholesome and effective weight-loss programme. This helps tone your body and makes it strong so that you can perform your daily activities with ease, and remain active in your golden years. But can couch potatoes transform to powerlifters within a year? Not if you commit these ‘fails’.

  •  Why most people fail:
    • They go all out and do the things they think will effectively melt the fat from their body. They start running, doing yoga and go for CrossFit sessions for an hour a day, six days a week.
    • After a week or two of this, they realise that they really, really hate this new and painful way of life. Other things that need urgent attention also begin creeping back into their lives. So, they start skipping sessions. One skipped session leads to another and pretty soon, they stop working out altogether.
  • How to ace this:
    • Consistency is key when it comes to building good habits. When starting an exercise programme, you’ll have to find an activity that you love and choose a frequency that is sustainable for the long-term.
    • If you hate running but love hiking, then go for hikes. If you can only work out once a week, then do it once a week, every week for three months.
    • When your body feels fitter and more energised, you’ll naturally want to challenge yourself to do more.
    • If you can’t do it on your own, find a workout buddy who can do it with you. You’ll strengthen the friendship and your body at the same time. Win-win!

3. Quit Bad Habits

It’s super easy to acquire a bad habit and ultra-hard to get rid of it. That’s why most people put ‘play less video games/quit smoking/drinking/gambling/social media addiction’ on their New Year’s resolutions list year after year.

  •  Why most people fail:
    • Bad habits have a way of imprinting themselves on our brains. A smoker can stop smoking for two weeks and yet, it only takes a puff before going back to his two-packs -a-day habit.
    • The bad habit is viewed as a highly rewarding activity. For example, a smoker is triggered to reach out for a cigarette after a meal, when hanging out with friends, taking a break at work or relaxing at home.
    • They lack motivation to quit the bad habit either because they see no point in changing their life’s circumstances or because they’ve tried to quit so many times without much success.
  • How to ace this:
    • Practice mindfulness – it means looking at yourself and your habits in a calm, compassionate and objective manner. This enables you to not act on your habits immediately and to find healthier alternatives to replace your habits.
    • You can also meditate or write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. It will give clues as to why you are doing what you are doing, which helps increase your self-control and willpower.
    • Another great way is to “fake it until you make it”, which is practiced by Alcoholics Anonymous. The more you practice good habits, the less effort it will take to exercise self-control as it becomes automatic and natural to you.
    • It’s normal to slip up every now and then. When it happens, don’t be harsh on yourself and begin again with a clean slate. Everyone hits a bump on the road, but it’s really just a bump. What matters is picking yourself up again and moving forward in the right direction.

4. Get A Higher Salary

With the rising cost of living, many Malaysians are making it a priority to increase their income. One of the easiest ways to do so is to convince your current employer that it’s time for that pay raise or promotion. However, for most employees, this is easier said than done.

  •  Why most people fail:
    • They have been in the same job for the past few years, doing the same tasks diligently day after day, not realising that they are neglecting to upskill themselves in preparation for the next level.
    • They are unclear of how they fit into the company’s big picture and therefore, how they can make themselves valuable to the company.
    • Afraid of being taken advantage of and/or not being confident of their ability to perform, they shy away from extra responsibilities and tasks that are beyond their current scope of work.
  • How to ace this:
    • Always look for opportunities to learn and upgrade your skills. First, you need to understand where you fit in the company, what it takes to get to the next level of your career and if there are company-sponsored courses that you can participate in. Talk to your immediate boss to find out what you can do to get there. If you find a lack of opportunity for career growth, it could be time to go to another.
    • Always be on the lookout on side income opportunities. We have listed 5 proven ways to do so and as a bonus, 5 more!

5. Manage Finances Better

An alarming majority of Malaysians are living beyond their means. They are knee-deep in debt, have no savings and no clue as to where their money goes every month. So, getting ahead of your finances is definitely an important resolution to make – and keep, especially when you have dependants to support.

  •  Why most people fail:
    • They do not have a financial plan, which gives them actionable steps to meet their financial goals, be it to settle their debt, save for a new car or go for a holiday overseas.
    • They use their credit card indiscriminately and do not keep track of their expenses.
    • They do not have emergency savings nor a personal accident insurance plan in case the unexpected happens and they lose the ability to earn an income.
  • How to ace this:
    • Practice good habits to stay on top of credit card debt. This includes focusing on settling the debt by paying more than the minimum amount stated and not charging more expenses to your card.
    • Signing up for a personal accident insurance plan such as EZTakaful’s EZCover, is an easy and affordable way to protect you and your family without breaking the bank. With plans costing as low as RM10 per month, you and your family will receive cash payouts in the event of an accident, giving you peace of mind while you recover from you injuries.

As they say, good habits (and resolutions) may not come easy, but good things happen when you get your priorities straight. At EZTakaful, we hope that these tips will help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions and goals for an awesome 2018. May it be a wonderful year for you and your family.

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