What are your New Years resolutions 3

New Year's Resolutions 2021: The 10 Most Popular + Tips for Implementing

“In the next year everything will be different!” - This is how it goes every year with good resolutions. Every third German formulates New Year's resolutions for himself. Typical: eat healthier, do more sport and spend more time with friends and family. Then the New Year is just around the corner - and with New Year's Eve, or at the latest on New Year's Eve, a lot of it is forgotten again. Too bad. Why Don't New Years Resolutions Work? What are good resolutions anyway? And how can you keep your resolutions - at least this year? The answers…

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

New Year's Resolutions 2021: What the Germans are up to

According to a recent YouGov survey, around 34 percent of Germans have formulated New Year's resolutions for 2021. Six percent are still undecided, the rest categorically make no resolutions. The usual long-running hits are again at the top of the ranking this year ...

Resolutions 2021: the list

  • Eating healthier (31%)
  • Do more sport (30%)
  • Save more (19%)
  • Acting more environmentally conscious (16%)
  • Spend more time with family and friends (14%)
  • Regular (more) for preventive health care (11%)
  • Smoking less / giving up completely (8%)
  • Drink less alcohol (6%)
  • Find a new partner (6%)
  • rest (7%)
  • I don't have any new year's resolutions (39%)

Why New Years Resolutions Don't Work

Surveys have also shown that: Of all the good resolutions, 15 percent don't last longer than a week. Another twelve percent are forgotten after two weeks. Then the old habits take over. A study by the University of Scranton paints an even gloomy picture: According to this, 92 percent of all resolutions fail. Why?

According to science, for two reasons:

  • If you do too much at once, you will fail faster.
  • The resolutions must not arise out of a whim, but must be planned realistically and clearly.

Doing too much at once is always unwise. After all, it's about breaking old (bad) habits. At first they are like cobwebs and later like wire ropes, says a Spanish proverb. Shedding something like this doesn't happen overnight. The art is to formulate a major goal as concretely as possible, to break it down into stages (so-called milestones) and then to pursue these consistently and with all your might. Step by step.


My goal for 2021 is to achieve the 2020 goals that I set for myself in 2019 because in 2018 I had planned to do what I wanted to achieve in 2017, because in 2016 I failed to achieve the 2015 goals.

What are good resolutions?

Lose weight, save, donate, quit smoking, become a vegetarian, spend less time on social media ... there are many good resolutions. But they are really “good” only when they have to do with us and do us good for ourselves. For good, personal reasons. Just as happiness is something very personal, this also applies to New Year's resolutions (which of course cannot only be made on New Year's Eve or New Year's Eve). There's no point in doing something that you don't want yourself to do. If the resolution is only torture, you will hardly develop and persevere the necessary self-discipline.

New Year's resolutions are quick to formulate. But you should know the motive behind it: Why do you want that at all? WHY are you doing this? Only those who recognize a worthwhile goal behind it have found a “good” purpose and reason.

Good resolutions are also those that you can influence yourself. For example, you can strive for a promotion. But the boss has the last word. Therefore, such an intention has the potential to frustrate you. Not good! It is better to have resolutions that you have control over your own development. Then they can also be reached more easily.

Resolutions list: Free template

For example, you can use our free list of intentions for your resolutions. Simply click on the picture and download it as a PDF.

Reading tip:New Year wishes - the most beautiful sayings

Implementing resolutions and keeping them: tips on how to do it

  • Define milestones
    You should always break big goals down into sub-steps. These are more motivating. It is known from motivation research that people develop more vigor the closer they get to a goal (see: Goal gradient effect).
  • Do something concrete
    Be as specific and specific as possible when formulating your New Year's resolutions. “Spending more time with friends” is nice, but vague. Meeting "every 2nd Friday evening of the month with Klaus or Marion" is more precise. And with it a tangible goal. “Losing weight” in the coming year is not a specific goal. To go without dessert every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and lose 5 kilos by March 1st, yes!
  • Start immediately
    According to the 72-hour rule, you should start everything you plan to do within 72 hours, otherwise the chance that you will ever implement the project drops to one percent. This is due to a lack of determination. Only those who are fully committed to something, with heart and soul and passion, want to get started with it. The first step is the most important.
  • Stay tuned
    According to studies by Phillippa Lally from University College London, it takes at least two months before we have established new (better) habits. That is how long we have to persevere and practice it (daily). So remember that. For example, by posting your good resolutions on the fridge where you can see them every day. By the way: setbacks are quite normal. The University of Washington psychologists Alan Marlatt and Elizabeth Miller found that one in five people needs more than six attempts to implement their resolutions.
  • Find words
    The “one word method” comes from Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and Jon Gordon, who have been using this technique for years - with great success. The idea: summarize the most important resolution for the new year in just one word! Because people seldom remember long bulletpoint lists or memorable sentences. But one single word - that sticks. The term should be easy to integrate into everyday life and encourage you because you associate it with a positive goal. Examples:
    • "Family" - because you want to spend more time with your loved ones.
    • "Figure" - because you want to lose weight and look sportier.
    • "Novel" - because you finally want to write and publish a book.
    • "Serenity" - because you don't want to let anger get too close to you.
    • "Cities" - because you want to travel more and take short trips.
    • "Balance" - because you want to live more in the here and now and enjoy life.

    The examples are nouns - verbs are just as suitable. It is important that the word is suitable as a motto and that you can write it down anywhere as a reminder.

  • Stay positive
    The more we resolve not to do something, the more likely we will do it again. This phenomenon is called the “irony effect” in technical terms. It is particularly harmful with resolutions such as “I don't want to smoke anymore” or “I want to eat less”. The only one who still goes on a diet is Brigitte. Always formulate your New Year's resolutions positively instead of negatively.
  • Find allies
    Team up with others - friends, family, colleagues. Many give up more quickly on their own. Thanks to mental support, even the most stubborn weaker self can be defeated. This has even been confirmed by studies led by Mark Conner from the Institute of Psychological Science at the University of Leeds.
  • Exercise confidence
    If you want to keep New Year's resolutions, you have to believe in yourself and your success. The conviction that you have enough willpower to get rid of annoying habits is much more successful than “just trying out something new”. This is the result of studies by Anirban Mukhopadhyay and Gita Johar from Columbia Business School.
  • Keep fun
    Resolutions have to be fun. Becoming more economical does not arouse ambition. Putting 100 euros aside every month to finance a dream vacation, yes. Every change in life that succeeds is a step forward. You should reward yourself for this. Otherwise you run the risk of giving up out of frustration the first time you have setbacks.

Keeping New Years Resolutions: The BIRD Method

The personality trainer Melanie Vogel has developed another technique with which New Year's resolutions can be implemented: the BIRD method. This is an acronym. BIRD stands for:

  • B for awakening gut instinct
    The first goal is to recognize your true heart's desire and then to listen to your inner voice, your gut feeling: Why do I want to change my current situation? Why am I dissatisfied? What's behind it?
  • I like to accept individuality
    In the second step, make it clear to yourself that your own goals in life are not those of others. Sounds obvious. But not a few shape their lives according to the expectations of others.
  • R like set direction
    Once you have a clear view of YOUR goals, you will determine the course for your future life. This is an important step towards change. People are maximally motivated when they move bit by bit towards a goal that they enjoy and that they have chosen themselves.
  • D for start-up
    The direction is set, you can see the goals in front of your eyes - all that's missing is implementation. So don't hesitate for a long time, just do it! Courageously and without hesitation. In this point, the BIRD method does not differ from usual tips. But the name is more memorable.

What other readers have read about it

[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]
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December 26, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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