Here's the date you'll give up your new year's resolutions (spoiler: soon)
Think way back, as long ago as the very beginning of January, several lengthy months ago. Remember those resolutions, and how you were going to smash the gym every day, take up running and quit the booze for good?
If you're still keeping at it, award yourself an enormous trophy for your staying power - but bear in mind that the crunch point, when most of us throw in the towel and return to our bad old ways, has not yet arrived.
In fact, new data has forecast that 19th February is the date when most Brits will give up their New Year's resolutions and revert to junk food, amongst their other bad habits.
The search data sourced by MIST plotted the average date when Brits cave and turn to takeaways, booze and other bad habits once more, over the past 5 years. They discovered that resolutions will be broken earlier than ever in 2022.
Watch: Chrissy Teigen's Anti-New Year Resolutions for Elle
The most common reported resolutions often focus on better health and saving money. With search data showing an upsurge in the word ‘takeaway’ it's easy to see when Brits start falling foul of their good intentions.
Data from the last five years was analysed to expose exactly when we start losing our willpower and turn to takeaways. This date is earlier each year and in 2022, looks set to peak on 19th Feb.
On average, Brits will stay strong for 50 days before cracking - though determination has clearly been on the decline in the past five years, with 2017 pre-pandemic Brits lasting 11% longer before giving in.
Read more: How To Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
MIST’s Founder and CEO, Fred Cassman, said, “It’s interesting to see that Brits appear to be breaking their resolutions earlier and earlier as the years go by. But with the impact of the pandemic taking a toll over the past two years, who can really blame us?
“However, if your New Year's resolutions will actively improve your health, we want to encourage Brits not to be defeated by 19th February. Try to make small and sustainable changes to your lifestyle to make your goals more manageable and improve your health for good!”
A further study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that around two-thirds of us abandon New Years resolutions within a month. It revealed that most people make resolutions based on better diet and more exercise, and further, that most make the same resolutions every year - strongly suggesting that they don't stick to them.
The study found that almost two-thirds of the participants abandoned their New Years resolutions within the first month. Likewise, more than half of the subjects had made the same resolutions, or similar ones, the year before.
More than half of the participants’ resolutions focussed on health behaviour, such as diet (29%) and exercise (24%).
Many were non-specific ('get fit') and therefore, more likely to fail.
The study's lead author, Joanne M. Dickson said an important factor in sticking to resolutions is specificity.
Concepts like 'eat better' or 'exercise more' were less likely to succeed than very clear goals such as 'go to the gym after work on Mondays and Thursdays.'
Other research, she pointed out, “has shown that setting specific goals that include a time, place, and/or other people provide the mental cues to assist people to stick to their resolution goals.”
She also pointed out that 'vague' resolutions requite more mental focus to plan, but specific goals are already pre-arranged.
Read more: 20 Realistic New Year's Resolutions for Parents
The authors write, “Although setting New Years resolutions is a popular activity in many cultures, our findings are consistent with the folk wisdom that people are not particularly good at sticking to them.”
“This is despite participants initially reporting high importance of, and commitment to, the resolution and the belief that they would stick to their resolution, even in the face of obstacles and difficulties.”
Ah well. Instead, we suggest some February resolutions that might be easier to stick with.
1 Go outside every day. Even if you're working from home, take a stroll, look for signs of spring, and get a dose of vitamin D.
2 Eat one less snack a day. The diet may not be working - but if you cut out one just bag of crisps, biscuit or cake a day, you could save a lot of calories over a month.
3 Alternate booze with water. OK, Dry January didn't work - but at leat switching your drinks means you'll drink less overall.
4 Learn to make Fakeaways. They're a lot cheaper- and healthier too. Just Google your favourite and there'll be a recipe you can try at home. (Serve in foil cartons for extra authenticity.)
5 Walk more. That's it - don't run, spin or wild swim if you can't face it. Just walk to the shops instead of driving - even ten minutes is proven to be good for you.
Watch: How to keep your resolutions beyond 'quitter's day'