The first of the year has come and gone. If you are like most people, you probably have
a few New Year’s Resolutions: eat healthier, exercise more, be kinder to your family and friends, save money, the list goes on and on. When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st those resolutions seem so promising. We all think that this is the year we will make it work. Then we go back to work or school. Life gets busier and busier. It’s been a long day, why go for a run? It’s so much easier to go through that fast food drive through than it is to go home and cook something healthy. That new phone looks so nice, surely it will be worth the splurge? And once you’ve broken your resolution one time, what’s the point of keeping it going? If you are already struggling with keeping your New Year’s Resolution, you’re not alone. Most research suggests that by the end of this month, 80-90% of people will have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions. So what’s the solution? How do we make resolutions that will stick? The answer is much simpler than you might think:
Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions!
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for self improvement, you can and you should.
A resolution for a whole year, however, is way too daunting for most people. On day one or two it may be easy to think that you can go the whole year without eating sweets, but by day twenty or thirty, the possibility seems a lot sadder. So what should you do instead?
● Make daily resolutions. Choosing to make coffee at home instead of going through the drive through today is a much easier choice.
● Break your goal down into specific manageable steps. Instead of making a blanket
statement like “I’m going to be more patient with my mother” decide on something
specific, such as “When my mother criticizes my shirt, I am not going to say anything.”
● Focus on the process more than the goal. Instead of saying, “this year I am going to give up all sweets” say “today I am going to eat vegetable sticks because they taste good and give me more energy.”
● Most importantly don’t compare your progress to that of others. Don’t worry about how fast or how far other people are running, instead focus on the fact that you got out the door in the first place.
● Finally, give yourself room to fail. Just because you slipped up and snapped at someone or ate that cookie, doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your goal, all it means is that you are human. So what if you have one (or ten) bad day(s)? Tomorrow is another chance to make another resolution.
This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett.