This is Carla, a student at NTU who is struggling to stick to her New Years resolution of going to the gym everyday.

Every year we are conflicted with sticking to our New Year’s resolution and whether it’s really worth it.

To prevent disappointment, we need to find ways to implement our resolutions into our daily lives, so that the process for change is throughout the year, not just one month.

With February creeping up on us it’s a prime time for resolutions to be ditched, while the new year is a good time to embark on a self-improvement journey, we need to recognize that this can happen at any time of the year and that achieving goals does not have a time frame.

Whilst speaking with the public it became apparent that quitting drinking, losing weight and cutting out sugar was the most difficult to maintain.

Kieran, a student at Nottingham Trent University said: “My New Years resolution is to quit smoking, but I continue to smoke, I find it hard to stick to it and to quit.”

New Year’s resolutions put people like Kieran under pressure to tackle addictive habits abruptly, which is unrealistic and not sustainable.

While New Year’s resolutions impose an introduction of healthy habits, we need to start looking at how they affect people in the long run.

Impossible resolutions can often lead to mental health issues like anxiety, depression and stress.

When asking people if they have struggled to stick to their resolutions, we saw that when setting unrealistic goals, resolutions become harder to achieve and maintain.

We accumulated opinions from a variety of students on campus to see if they find it difficult to stick to their New Years resolutions, here is what they said:

Carla said: “My New Years resolution is to go to the gym more and it’s not been going great I just keep making excuses.”

Like Carla, a lot of us have promised ourselves that we will take the gym seriously this year, however, this is easier said than done.

Rather than burdening yourself with not being able to achieve your gym goals, why not try something that you will be able to sustain all year round?

A good way to combat the guilt that follows breaking a New Years resolution is the 75-day hard challenge which consists of:

  • Sticking to a non-restrictive diet of your choice.
  • Limiting your alcohol intake weekly.
  • Perform two 45-minute workouts a day (can even be as simple as walking or a workout video on YouTube to perform at home.)
  • Drink a gallon of water a day.
  • Read 10 pages of a book a day.

It takes 65 days for a habit to form, which ensures that at least one of the challenges included in 75-day hard will stick even after the timeframe expires.

The challenge includes simple and achievable goals, that lack the intimidation resolutions impose and is a good alternative while trying to better yourself.

However, if this still seems daunting, another alternative is the 75-day easy challenge which is just as beneficial.

This includes:

  • Only drinking alcohol during social occasions.
  • Workout for 45-minutes a day.
  • Drink three litres of water a day.

These challenges allow your self-improvement journey to have longevity and sets you up for a life of healthy habits that are maintainable.

As January is coming to an end, we need to start thinking of ways to keep up with a healthy lifestyle without it consuming us and putting our mental health at risk.

It’s easy to wallow when feeling like we have failed, but we should not let it define us and we should continue to try to take steps in the right direction.

This is why we urge you to not beat yourself up over a broken New Years resolution and encourage implementing aspects of the 75-day hard challenge and other like it into your daily rituals.

Sometimes ditching your New Years resolutions isn’t all that bad if your are bettering yourself all year round!