Fitness

January 1st is NOT a good time to make those New Year resolutions


Psychologist Jacqui Manning explains why there’s a much better time to make those New Year resolutions, and it’s not the first of January. 

The New Year comes off the back of a busy and often stress-filled period due to packed celebration schedules. As a result, we may not be in the best frame of mind for making big lifestyle changes and may find it hard to stay motivated.

All this coupled with the pressure of the rest of the world doing it at the same time, and possibly indulging too much over the silly season, we end up setting ourselves up for failure without the headspace to properly examine if our goals are really aligned with our personal values and wishes.

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How to make sure your resolutions stick

WW recently conducted research to understand how Australians were feeling about their health during the pandemic and found that 56% of Aussies have made a health goal their number one priority to strive for over the next six months, with losing weight being the number one goal (21%), followed by increasing their fitness (18%). My advice for people wanting to set similar health goals going into the New Year, is to set smaller, achievable monthly or weekly goals to keep you on track.

People often set big, ambitious goals in the New Year but it’s better to set mini goals that ladder up to a bigger objective. It’s really important that you set up a realistic framework to help you achieve success and celebrate each milestone along the way to help keep you motivated.

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January 1st is not the best day

Setting resolutions is best done without the pressure and stress that comes with Christmas and the end of the year.

It’s good to regularly reflect throughout the year on where you are at and where you want to be, but research from WW has also shown that anxiety and stress are the number one identified health disruptors for Aussies. For many of us, summer may be the first break we have had after what has been an incredibly disruptive year. Rather than put pressure and unnecessary stress on yourself, take the chance to relax and unwind.

It’s good to regularly reflect throughout the year on where you are at and where you want to be, butchoose a date where you’re feeling relaxed to begin your resolutions.

A better time to make your New Year resolutions

The best date to make New Year’s resolutions is totally individual! The key is to make changes on your own terms, and when you can find a good routine. For some this may very well be before work recommences, but for others it will be after school holidays and once life returns to normality. Regardless of the time of year, do it when you feel you’ve had time and space to think about the path you want to go down to achieve your goals.

My advice is to take a few weeks off mentally and physically and during that time, start to reflect and consider your path to success. Once you’ve got your breath back and feel refreshed, you can hit the ground running.

Jacqui Manning is a Sydney-based registered psychologist, and a spokesperson for WW.