Up until now, when we have made New Year’s resolutions we realize that every December we failed. If we are being realistic, most of our resolutions don’t make it past the first few months of the year. According to a Medifast survey, of those who made resolutions, only 10% of U.S. adults stick with their resolutions and nearly half of all resolutions are broken within the first month.
It takes more than just good intentions to keep our resolutions. But don’t worry, it is not as complicated as you think. It turns out that the simple act of putting pen to paper and writing down those resolutions increases the odds that we will keep them. And using paper (which is easily recyclable) is a great way to start out your greener 2023.
In the article “10 Great Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions This Year” in VeryWellMind.com, an online source that provides guidance to improve one’s mental health and find balance, Kendra Cherry writes that creating a detailed written plan can help us stick to our goals.
“By sticking with it and working on your goal all year long,” writes Cherry, “you can be one of the few able to say that you really did keep your New Year's resolution—and if you're writing down your progress and strategies, you'll have ready proof of your efforts if you're ever feeling like giving up.”
In an article on keeping one’s New Year’s resolutions, Fast Company wrote about a Dominican University study, led by psychology professor Gail Matthews, which cited sending written progress reports to a friend helps ensure that we keep our resolutions. “More than 70% of the participants who actually wrote down their goals and then sent weekly updates to a friend reported successful goal achievement. For participants who created a goal and kept it to themselves, just 35% were successful.”
But why does writing down goals work better than just thinking them? Also referencing the study for Huffington Post, author and founder of Brave Thinking Institute, Mary Morrissey explains “if you just think about one of your goals or dreams, you’re only using the right hemisphere of your brain, which is your imaginative center. But, if you think about something that you desire, and then write it down, you also tap into the power of your logic-based left hemisphere... And you send your consciousness and every cell of your body a signal that says, “I want this, and I mean it!”
So want to stick to your resolutions? Resolve to be greener and just gather some paper and pens and start writing.