If you’re like the many Americans who made resolutions this year, you may be fortunate enough to have the drive and commitment to keep them. However, a YouGov American poll showed that only about half of those who made resolutions last year kept some of them. Another poll found that about one-third of resolution-makers didn’t even make it past January.
Why is it so hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions, especially since most are positive and revolve around improving one’s health? The most popular resolutions in 2022, for example, according to Digital Information World, are to exercise more, lose weight, and eat more healthily.
Making resolutions at the start of the year is popular because it represents a fresh start, allowing people to relegate mistakes or bad behaviors to the past. However, motivation tends to wane over time. That fresh start begins to get stale. The Monday Campaigns, a public health initiative, reported that the most common reasons people fail to stick to their resolutions are:
- An inability to stay on track
- Lack of discipline
- Not seeing results quickly enough
- Interference from dealing with the COVID pandemic
What if you thought of the beginning of each week as a fresh start? Could recommitting to your resolutions or making resolutions every Monday help keep you motivated? The Monday Campaigns initiative’s extensive research suggests that it could.
What is The Monday Campaigns’ initiative?
The Monday Campaigns is a program associated with John Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities that supports health-related resolutions with tools, content, tips and social media postings that help you recommit to your goals every week, starting Monday. The purpose of this program is to reduce the incidences of preventable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity, by helping people commit to the healthy resolutions they make every year – but, instead, have them commit or recommit to them every Monday.
However, although the goal of the Monday Campaigns initiative is to improve your health, you can dedicate Mondays to whatever resolution is important to you, such as cutting down on social media, spending more time with your family or decluttering your home. It doesn’t only have to be about your health. It’s about making positive changes in your life.
The idea is that if you had a slip or lacked discipline for whatever reason the week before (maybe your child was home sick from school?), you can start again on Monday. You don’t have to wait until 2023. The Monday Campaigns found that 86% of people surveyed thought that refreshing their goal every Monday would help them maintain their healthy resolutions. So, it’s sort of like a weekly reset or a refresh every Monday.
How do The Monday Campaigns work?
The organization partnered with health groups and subject-matter experts to offer different themed campaigns that individuals and organizations can sign up for to get help and support. Their current campaigns include:
- Meatless Monday
- Move it Monday
- Destress Monday
- The Kids Cook Monday
- Quit & Stay Quit Monday
- Caregiver Monday
If you’d like to accomplish various health goals and not just to eat healthier, for example, you can sign up for The Healthy Monday Refresh campaign. This initiative offers information to those who sign up on how to improve their health in a variety of ways, from deep breathing exercises and easy ways to cook vegetables to how to reduce the fear related to starting a fitness routine. You can also customize a campaign for your workplace or organization.
The first step to starting a Monday routine through the Monday Campaigns is signing up for the Healthy Monday Refresh Check-Up Tool to help you figure out the actions you need to take that week to move forward or stick to your wellness goal. After that, you’ll get a weekly newsletter or messages via social media chockful of free resources, tips and practices to help keep you on track to stick with your goals.
Depending on your age, certain songs or cultural references may lead you to associate negative thoughts with Monday. “I Don’t Like Mondays,” by the Boomtown Rats, 1979, “Manic Monday,” by the Bangles, 1986 and “Rainy Mondays,” by Shiny Toy Guns, 2005, are a few examples (my apologies if any of these turns into earworms).
And, regardless of your cultural references, Monday marks the end of the weekend for almost everyone. Yet, research shows that there are positive associations with Mondays as well. Studies show that healthy thinking and behavior, two essential parts of creating positive change, correspond most frequently to Monday. It’s the day that most people are inclined to commit to a goal or stay on track with a health goal.
So, if people think of Monday as the day to commit to a health goal or any goal, the chances of sticking to that goal, in the long run, are a lot more likely than a New Year’s resolution. This is because you get 52 opportunities to recommit instead of just one.