New Year’s Resolutions

In this article, we discuss the science behind New Years’ resolutions. We look into why they’re notoriously hard to keep, and how science says we can prepare ourselves for success.

The New Year is a beautiful time where we’re all united under the umbrella of a common goal. As a whole, we tend to start January full of hope and the idea that we’re trying to improve. Motivation is high on the first of the month, but all too often it decreases as life gets in the way or we lose sight of why we wanted our written rule in the first place.

Over the next few paragraphs, we’ll take a look at which resolutions are born ready for success and which might hinder you in the long run. We’ll look at the science of goals and see what you can do throughout this month and beyond to start strong and stay strong in 2022.

Resolutions: The Two Goal Types

Superordinate

Superordinate goals are a more abstract motivation, fundamental to our overall sense of self and worth. The idea is that these goals are explored deeply with an overarching sense of why.

One example given was to then formulate a goal along the lines of “I want to be a person who…”

Subordinate

Subordinate goals are decidedly more concrete and offer a precise action or step that they want to take.

Options might include going for a run twice a week, taking the stairs at work, or even eating healthily. Depending on which action feels the most important to pursue, the goal is built around just this.

The science

This 2019 study by Höchli, et al., explores the effect that both these goal types have on the motivation of goal pursuit, particularly in terms of New Year’s resolutions.

The idea was that setting subordinate goals would be more successful as previous data suggests they boost performance. Studies highlight the advantages of having a single goal of initiating a specific action over a short period of time.

Conversely, supporters of superordinate goals state that their relation to one’s worth implies a higher stake on the line of success. People should, by this theory, be more motivated to carry out behaviours in line with achieving their goal.

The formula for success

Höchli found that while researchers are under the almost unanimous agreement that superordinate goals are most effective for these reasons, there were no correlating figures to prove that either goal individually had a better result on the longevity or success of resolutions.

It is interesting, then, that there was one clear winner in terms of still being motivated over time. Three months into the study, those who combined both superordinate goals and related subordinate goals were ultimately more successful.

Setting Goals That Breed Success

Another study we looked at (Oscarsson, et al., 2020) looked at how the format of goals can play into overall success. The results found that those who set approach-oriented goals were indeed more successful in their resolutions than those who followed avoidance-oriented kinds.

So what does that mean?

Avoid this type of goal:

  • I won’t eat sugar this year.
  • No more alcohol on weekdays.
  • Remove toxic people from my life.

Instead, focus on goals like this:

  • I’ll live a healthier lifestyle this year.
  • Choosing to drink water with my evening meal.
  • I’ll focus on building positive relationships this year.

The Role Of Habit In Keeping Resolutions

In a landmark study, the University of Scranton (1988) found that only 19% of those studied kept their resolutions two years later. One major factor for long-term success and still reaping the benefits of your good intentions made now is forming habits around the actions that build your goals.

It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. The same study confirmed that an average of 66 days is needed to make this habit automatic. It may sound like a long time when you’re just starting off, but the good news is that it’s definitely achievable in a year. Isn’t that why we set out our goals in January to begin with?

So how do we build long-term habits?

“Habits aren’t just there, but you can get them by repitition and reinforcement.” Dr Nicole Calakos, M.D., PH.D. Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at Duke University.

One strategy is to recognise the outside factors (that is people, activities, or environments) linked to the habit you’d like to change or build. Once you are aware of this, you can start to change your behavior towards those things.

If you would like to lose weight, for example, you need to look at where you might find your common pitfalls. This might be a tendency to use the vending machine that you pass en route to the canteen each day. To combat this, a common method is to bring a pre-prepared healthy option from home to combat the need to purchase anything at all. Alternatively, you could take a different route to the canteen if another is available to you.

It can be hard to make these choices consciously at first, but over time you will find that habit means you’ll eventually do them without a thought. You can’t build a habit without recognising where it will fit into your life, and you can’t keep it without deciding on initial behavioural changes first.

Top tips going forward

Before you step away, I’d like to recommend this video produced by PBS on the study of habit. It’s only around five minutes long, so it won’t keep you.

Take a moment to think of why you’re making a resolution and think to yourself why it’s important in the first place. Follow the advice above and support your overall ambition with more concrete and attainable goals to maintain your motivation over time, and in doing so you’ll start forming habits too.

If health is a big one for you this year, why not take the first step and check out our services? Our helpful team will be more than happy to discuss colonic hydrotherapy and how it can fit into a healthy lifestyle.

Ten Wellness Gift Ideas To Buy Before Christmas

From the fitness fanatic to the mindful soul, our curated wellness selection will inspire gifts for everyone on your list.

A gift is wrapped in festive wrapping paper and held out to the reader.

At Aqualibria, we care about health and wellness. Far more than just a state of mind, wellness can encompass everything from meditation and relaxation to sleep and therapy and often covers a lot more in-between. This Christmas, we’ve decided to skip the indulgencies and chocolate and instead bring you a curated list of wellness-inspired gifts for the health-conscious soul in your life.

If your loved one could benefit from a little pampering or has maybe shared their plans for a New Year health kick, then you’ll find just the thing to see them through. We’ve tried to cover a range of categories and motivations, as well as different price points, too, so you’re bound to find at least one person to tick off your list this festive season.

ONE

Acupressure Mat Set

A gift set of a black acupressure yoga mat, pillow, and bag.

Yogi Bare

Oliver Bonas

£39.50

The Yogi Bare Acupressure Mat works by applying pressure to various points of the back and body. It provides a painless environment to unwind and cultivate much-needed endorphins.

A perfect gift for the busy person in your life who would benefit from an escape through self-directed therapy.

TWO

Argan Skincare Treatment Candle

A gift box presented in a beautiful bow, and a pourable spouted candle beside.

Douvalls

Not On The High Street

£32.00

The Argan Skincare Treatment Candle aims to nourish and hydrate the body through a carefully curated blend of oils designed to treat the skin. It comes in three delicious seasonal scents, forbidden spices, orangery orchid, and festive frankincense, orange, and lavender, making it an ideal gift for this time of year.

Perfect for the loved one you know deserves to de-stress and pamper themselves this Christmas.

THREE

Vacuum insulated leak-proof drinks bottle 500ml

A beautiful matte green, stainless steel drinks bottle. Good for your health and the environment.

Chilly’s

John Lewis

£20.00

This stainless steel drinks bottle has been making waves for years now. Utilising high-tech double-walled technology, Chilly’s bottles will keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12. Also BPA-free and leak-proof, the drinker won’t need to worry about any degradable toxins or spills while it’s around.

The perfect gift for both the outdoorsy and environmentally conscious soul in your life, this beautiful matte green flask is sure to go down a treat.

FOUR

Mindfullness Jar

A gift jar full of thoughtful notes and mindfulness exercises for the recipient.

Maison & White

Amazon

£5.99

The Maison & White Mindfulness Jar is a delightful treat. With no fewer than 25 daily messages, your recipient will get almost a month’s worth of thoughtful exercises. The regular practice of mindfulness has been known to improve your sense of self, reduce stress, and increase creativity, making this the ideal gift to show a loved one you really care.

An affordable treat for both the novice and experienced practitioner, this Mindfulness Jar would make a delightful stocking filler or secret Santa surprise.

FIVE

My Daily Self Care Wellness Journal

Give the gift of self-care with this beautiful year-long wellness journal.

Blush and Gold

Not On The High Street

£24.95

This Daily Self Care Journal covers 365 days over four integrated sections. As the recipient works through, they’ll find dedicated pages for self-care check-ups, identifying barriers, planning their self-care routine, and evaluating their practice. It is an intensive program within the pages of one beautifully presented book, and would no doubt be a gift used time and again by whoever you present it to.

Perfect for almost anyone, gift this journal to somebody close to show them just how much they mean to you.

SIX

Dodow Sleep Aid Device

The Dodow, a metronomic light therapy routine.

MyDodow

£49.90

The Dodow is a very different kind of present, but one we had to find a place for in our list. This is more than just light therapy. It combines projection with guided breathing, contracting in time with what it determines to be the optimal pace for you and visually keeping you on track. Don’t just take our word for it, Dodow has over 5000 dedicated customer reviewers who swear by its unique approach in helping such ailments as stress, insomnia, and interrupted or unrestful sleep.

Gift the Dodow to somebody you love who struggles to unwind and fall asleep. Though one of the more pricey suggestions on our list, the value it provides to its recipients is, in their own words, priceless.

SEVEN

Sleep Well Gift Box

A gift box of sleep relief and relaxation products.

SleepWellGifts

Etsy

£9.95

Lingering on the topic of sleep, our next recommendation offers a delightful mix of therapy and relaxation in a convenient letterbox-friendly package. Each item has been lovingly curated to work in harmony with one another and aid in creating tranquil sleep.

Perfect for the loved one far away, this thoughtful assortment can be sent directly to those you may not have time to visit before Christmas.

EIGHT

Luxe Fitness Tracker

A fashionable gold stainless steel, chain-linked fitness tracker by health giant Fitbit.

Fitbit

£129.99 – 179.99

Fitbit has been a household name for quite some time, but with the Luxe they’ve brought us something different. Offering a more feminine and fashion-forward design, the Luxe tailors itself around your style while still keeping health and fitness in focus.

While the whole range is gorgeous, the special edition deserves an honourable mention. It comes with a gold stainless steel link bracelet from the timeless jewellery brand Gorjana, making it an ideal gift for the fashionable lady in your life.

NINE

Mindful Living Box

A gift box full of wellness treats, mindful exercises, and relaxing activities.

Qappy

Etsy

£39.00

The Qappy Mindful Living Box is a unique offering of curated treats designed to provide the recipient with a memorable experience. With a focus on ‘being present in the moment,’ Qappy has boxed hours of fun across 6 wellness-inspired activities and has bundled them in with indulgent treats and exclusive access to an extensive digital library of content to help you in your mindfulness journey.

A perfect gift for the loved one who seems to have everything, this selection takes the guessing work out of the equation and offers a one-of-a-kind experience with something for everyone to love.

TEN

Colonic Hydrotherapy

A woman smiling against a pink background, holding a gift voucher.

Aqualibria UK

£130

Do you know somebody who has been experiencing some digestive discomfort lately? Or maybe you have a loved one who is very serious about their health? Here at Aqualibria, we specialize in addressing the needs of those with digestive trouble, providing relief for constipation, bloating, IBS, and exhaustion to name but a few. An Aqualibria Gift Voucher is currently only £130 and offers a comprehensive colonic hydrotherapy assessment and treatment to your recipient.

The perfect gift for anybody experiencing any digestive discomfort, or even just someone in need of a boost, a treatment with us could be just the thing your loved one needs this holiday season. Click here to find out more!