Health-related goals such as losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking tend to top the list of New Year's resolutions in America. Yet research shows that only 8% end up achieving their resolutions each year.
That's why some health experts believe a more effective approach would be to follow New Year's with a recommit strategy that capitalizes on the natural momentum of the weekly cycle.
To that end, The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit associated with leading public health schools, is encouraging people to turn their 2017 New Year's health resolutions into "Monday Resolutions," gaining 52 chances to succeed.
"Using Monday to reset your goals, celebrate progress and get back on track after a weekend slip-up can help people stay on track for the long haul," said Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center.
According to research, people see Monday as a fresh start and are more likely to begin diets, exercise regimens and quit smoking on a Monday more than any other day. In addition, published studies in JAMA Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that health-related searches on the internet peak on Monday.
Joanna Cohen, co-author of these studies and the director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, considers Monday as a "mini-New Year's" that provides 52 chances a year to stay on track, instead of just one.
"Studies show that Mondays are a natural opportunity to engage smokers and reduce their likelihood of relapse. It's the January of the week, the day that smokers are looking for help," explained Dr. Cohen. This is particularly important because for many smokers, it may take 30 or more quit attempts before being successful.
A Monday health reset can also help sustain healthy behaviors. People report that starting the week off with exercise, healthy eating and a positive attitude helps keep them on track throughout the week.
Five Tips to Turn Your New Year's Resolutions Into Monday Resolutions:
1.Set realistic goals.
2.Break each goal into small, manageable steps.
3.Make a weekly plan and write it down to commit.
4.Share your goals with others for support.
5.Hit the Healthy Monday Reset, if you lapse.
The Monday Campaigns works with leading public health schools to offer science-based weekly tips, recipes and other inspiration to help people start and sustain healthy behaviors. Wellness organizations can also download free resources to start their own Healthy Monday programs.