With the first month of 2017 coming to a close, it’s time to take stock of how we’re doing with our resolutions. Maybe keeping your resolutions so far has been a breeze, or maybe you’ve stumbled already. Either way, if you’re trying to make lasting changes, this is only the beginning. Recent research suggests that willpower may be more like a muscle, which would not only mean that you can strengthen it over time, but could also mean that willpower could become fatigued if you’re overtaxing yourself in the self-control department. With that in mind, here’s some advice to help you use your willpower wisely and keep your resolutions all year long.
- Find what works for you. Make sure your strategy for keeping your resolution fits your personality. If you’re not a morning person, trying to go to the gym every day before work will not be an easy feat. Think about ways that you can work with your natural inclinations, instead of having to use more willpower to go against them. Remember, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you.
- Get enough sleep. It’s probably not surprising, but research suggests that it’s tougher to make decisions, especially good ones, when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Putting that in the context of resolutions, it’s easy to see how missing out on your zzz’s can make it tougher to stay on track with your new habits. If you’re trying to cook more at home to save money and get healthy, it’ll be more difficult to make all the necessary decisions (e.g. weekly menus, shopping lists, schedules) if you’re in sleep debt. If you’re sleep deprived it’s much more likely that you’ll give in to your impulses.
- Start from outside in. Changes in environment can often lead to changes in behavior. If you’re tempted to grab a coffee on the way to work, but you are trying to cut back on your spending, it might be time to rethink your route to work. If improving your diet is on your list this year, try putting your healthy options in the most convenient place in the kitchen and tossing out the tempting junk food. We’ve even found that low-mileage drivers who switch to pay-per-mile insurance tend to drive less (and save even more!).
- Have a backup plan. Inevitably, even the best plans and perfected routines won’t always work. With busy schedules, life gets in the way. One way to make sure you don’t lose momentum is to have an “if…then” backup plan already set. Think of examples like, “If I miss my yoga class on Tuesday, then I will go for a run after work on Wednesday.” Be sure to keep your “then” statements as actionable items, rather than things you won’t do.
If your goals include getting fit, saving money or helping the environment, then Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance could help you reach them if you are a low-mileage driver. To learn more and see if you could save, head over to www.metromile.com/insurance.