Another year has passed, which for most of us inexplicably means refining ourselves, setting new goals and picking our New Year’s resolutions. And it might come as a surprise, but most of these resolutions stay the same year after year, after year.
Words: Aleksandra Medina
A recent poll reveals that the most common New Year’s resolutions this year in the U.S. are to eat healthier, get more exercise, save more money and focus on self-care. While these resolutions are profound and meaningful, they have become somewhat of a joke, with people not actually believing in themselves or others. But why is it so hard for people to stick to their resolutions?
American Psychological Association (APA) emphasises that, first and foremost, New Year’s Eve should not serve as a “catalyst for sweeping character changes”. Undoubtedly, January 1st serves nicely as a start line, but if, for some reason (wink, wink), you are unable to start your new resolution of working out, consuming less alcohol or eating healthier in the first few days of 2018, it doesn’t mean you have to wait for 2019 and you can’t start with, let’s say, January 8th.
Additionally, these are the 3 completely reasonable steps suggested by the APA to make sure you actually quit smoking, start exercising more or save up money for that long desired trip.
1. Start Small and Take It Step by Step
Be reasonable with your goal. You won’t be able to wake up on January 1st and run a marathon. But you will be able to start with a 15-minute run, then a 20-minute until you eventually are able to run a marathon. Likewise, you won’t be able to start eating only veggies starting January 1st, but you can start by introducing 3 days a week, when you don’t indulge in unhealthy snacks. Take it step by step, and you will end up at a point where your NY resolution has become a habit, rather than a torture. To actually reach a goal you should strive to make it a habit to avoid the urge to fall back and give up.
2. Involve Others and Don't Be Ashamed to Ask for Help
Share your dreams and goals with your family and friends. Saying it out loud will make it a reality and increase the feeling of commitment. And if you are struggling with reaching your goal, having the support of your loved ones will help. Additionally, consider making it a group activity. Does your best friend share the same resolution with you? Then do it together! Having someone to share your ups and downs with, makes the journey easier and more enjoyable.
3. Everyone Has their Ups and Downs
Following up on that, it is completely okay if your foot slips and you have that burger. It is alright if you skip gym that one day you were feeling bad or even the entire week if you were extremely busy. Most importantly, don’t go around looking for reasons to quit. Sticking with your resolution even after a couple of mistakes, proves that you’re in it for the long run.