For most people, new year resolutions are like second chances: A second chance at being a better you; a second chance at getting another year right; a second chance at your goals and dreams. The feeling you get from making brand new decisions in the new year is almost a high, making you feel empowered. But with a success rate of less than 20%, most new year resolutions don’t make it to February, which can leave us feeling insufficient and undisciplined. However, there are ways to make and achieve new year resolutions and that’s what this post is all about.
Most new year resolutions are made half-heartedly. We cross our fingers, close our eyes, and say the resolution in our minds with wishful optimism as we blow out birthday candles. As a result, the resolution disappears into thin air like candle smoke, listless and without energy. Resolutions never happen that way. But to be fair, the intention and energy that follows a new year resolution is dependent on why the resolution is being made in the first place. People make new year resolutions for more reasons than are immediately obvious. Sometimes we make resolutions because we actually want to make a change. But other times, it is not so simple. Other times, we make resolutions because it is simple. Sometimes, we make resolutions because it would be weird if we didn’t. And sometimes, our resolutions are simply an avenue for us to get out of doing things that we know we ought to do. And because resolutions rarely work, we can simply blame our failure on the resolution’s inconsistency.
Making and acting on new year resolutions involves more than just wishing they were true. It requires a certain stick-to-it-tiveness that most people are not prepared for when they make the resolutions. Fortunately, there are simple steps that can bring us that much closer to achieving our new year resolutions.
- Set resolutions that you actually want to achieve: The most important thing when setting a new year resolution is to only set resolutions that you want to achieve. The chances of achieving new year resolutions that you do not really want are slim to none. And, as we know, things don’t just happen because we wish them to. Hitting your new year goals begins with wanting it.
- Set realistic and achievable resolutions: The very nature of resolutions are that they are things that see yourself doing. A resolution of a big-boned individual to be as ripped as Dwayne Johnson is simply unachievable. It is more realistic to set a particular amount of weight you want to lose.
- Dream BIG: Just because your resolutions should be realistic does not mean they cannot be ambitious. Set resolutions that challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone. If the idea is to grow and improve as an individual, why not become the most improved individual you can be. For our big-boned friend whose resolution might be to lose 50 lbs for instance, he could make it an ambitious 100 lbs.
- Make your resolutions into goals: Research shows that you are 40% more likely to achieve the goals that you write down, and until you make it into a clear written objective, a new year resolution is just wishful thinking. When you write down your new year resolution, you are committing yourself to following through, which increases your chances of achieving it. A goal-oriented resolution might be to lose 10 lbs every month.
- Break them down into small actionable steps: It can be daunting to look at the ambitious goals you have set for yourself in the new year. It can often be overwhelming because sometimes, you don’t even know where to begin. At this stage, it helps to break the resolutions into simple, easy-to-do daily action points. With the steps broken down into pieces, you can make daily progress without the strain of feeling like you have to do it all at once. An example may be to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, three times weekly.
- Celebrate your progress: Sometimes, we fall short of our goals and that’s alright. Remember to take a minute to review your progress and how far you’ve come and grown!
We all want to be better versions of ourselves and new year resolutions can help us do that and even though they can be quite difficult to follow through and execute, they are a huge part of the growth process. Making resolutions and sticking to them will help us grow as individuals and we all know that growth is arguably the most important part of being human. As you continue the year, make, tweak, and stick to your resolutions and watch yourself evolve into a happier, more fulfilled individual.