It’s that time of year, when many of us make New Year’s Resolutions that, by the end of February, we’re no longer quite as resolute about. The statistics around resolutions are jarring: while about 50% of people make them every year, only about 8% of us actually stick to them.
As the New Year approaches, here are some tips on setting reasonable New Year’s Resolutions – and sticking with them.
You Don’t Have to Do It All
Don’t overdo it. Instead of trying to get in shape, find a better job, read more books, quit drinking, learn coding, and find your soulmate, try focusing on one area of your life and putting your energy into changing that. If you want to improve your finances, restrict your resolutions to things like regularly putting money in a savings account, setting a monthly budget for yourself, and cutting out spending on things you don’t really need (like gadgets or expensive shoes). If you try to change almost every aspect of your life all at once, you’re inviting failure. Once you start to see results, you’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll get into a groove. Then, if you feel you can handle it, move on to another area after a few months, and go from there.
Set Realistic Goals
Another way to practically guarantee failure is to aim too high. If you want to get in better shape, for example, start small with things like drinking more water, walking more, and eating more fruits and vegetables; don’t start with an ambitious goal like trying to lose 60 pounds by the summer, or developing washboard abs. If you do it right, you’ll end up getting closer those loftier goals (like having a flatter stomach) if you start with achievable ones.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
We all understand that true perfection is simply not attainable; it’s something to strive for, but we know we’ll never actually achieve it. No matter the goals that you’re pursuing, you’ll encounter setbacks; it’s simply a fact of life. Don’t abandon your resolution just because you skipped a gym session or ate a slice of cake, and don’t hate yourself for it. We all make mistakes, and we all slip up on occasion. Just put it behind you, keep moving forward, and stay positive.
Find Support in Others
There’s no reason to go it alone. We’re more likely to accomplish our goals if we talk to others about them. If you’re trying to get in shape, find a buddy or a group of friends to work out with, or sign up for a class. Our friends and family are there to support us, and that includes helping us stay on track when trying to better ourselves. If you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, try seeking professional help; psychologists are very knowledgeable about various strategies to adjust your behaviour, as well as how to apply them effectively.
Hopefully these tips and suggestions will help you come up with some resolutions that you can stick to this year. Remember, it’s not about adhering to a strict regimen; you should look at improving yourself and your life as a process, not a punishment. The goal is to feel better about yourself. If you start small and keep it reasonable, you’ll have a better chance of actually achieving the transformations you want, instead of giving up and feeling guilty.
From everyone here at The Edge, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year!
Justin Anderson | The Edge Blog