Setting Realistic New Years Resolutions
Updated: Jan 2
Because we all know we forget our resolutions after about three months.
We all have those same (possibly cliche) New Year's resolutions that we *promise* to keep all year. We may vow to become healthier and lose or gain weight. We make a workout schedule and start going to the gym a few days a week and then suddenly, we're back at home Netflixing on the couch during our scheduled workout times. Been there, done that. But, guess what?
There's nothing wrong with that.
We're human beings. And it's normal and natural for us to not keep resolutions or scheduled things all the time. God made us knowing we would mess up sometimes and get it wrong. But, with time and faith, we can turn our shortcomings into our new beginnings.
In today's post, I'll walk you through how to set realistic, beneficial New Year's Resolutions from your regular cliched ones, and how to maintain and adopt them into your daily lifestyle.
The main thing about resolutions is that they're really just a fancy word for goals. With resolutions, we feel like we have to immediately jump into them and get them right as soon as possible. But, that isn't the case. If we think about them as simply being goals, some of that unconscious stress is eased because we all know what goals are. Goals are things that we wish to adapt into our lifestyles. If we have a goal of having $3,000 saved up by the end of the year, we make a plan to save up a certain amount of money each month so by December 31st of that year, we've reached our goal. Write down your resolutions in a journal or just on a piece of paper, It helps us to feel more of a commitment to our goals.
This is what you do with resolutions:
Set a realistic goal you can stick to
Break the goal down into smaller individual sub-goals
Develop a plan to meet the sub-goals, leading to completing the main goal
Reward yourself for meeting sub-goals
Harvard Medical School Lecturer Dr. Marcelo Campos detailed in a "New York Post" article that answering these five specific questions in regard to your resolutions can help put you on the right track to achieving your goals:
1. Why do you want to make the change?
2. Is your goal concrete and measurable?
3. What is your plan?
4. Who can support you as you work toward change?
5. How will you celebrate your victories?
Setting and Executing Sub-goals
For example, if one of your goals is to cut down on your social media usage, don't start off with a month-long hiatus. Going into things headfirst is one of the main reasons we tend to abandon our resolutions quickly. Take the resolution by each week. Start off with putting your phone on a "Do Not Disturb" option for an hour each day one week. Then the next week, put your phone down completely for an hour each day. The next week, work up to three hours. Slowly work up to cutting down social media for up to a day. Below is a visual example on main goal setting and sub-goal setting:
Do things around your area to keep yourself busy or maybe even take up new hobbies. Jumping into big goals headfirst without a set plan of sub-goals is a surefire way for a failed resolution. Set realistic goals and sub-goals and reward yourself for accomplishing them!
Tip: Think of the previous year and your previous resolutions as a garden.
If you're tending to a garden, you want to make sure that everything in your garden is getting what they need. If you have tomato plants in one plot in the corner and mint leaves in another plot in the center, you make sure that each plant is getting the sunlight it needs, the water it needs, and fertilizer if needed. But, let's say the tomato plants aren't growing like they should. But, you've done the same thing for both the tomato plants and the mint leaves. But since the mint leaves are in the center, they get more of what they need (water and sunlight) than the tomato plants. Seeing this, you know you have to give the plant a little more attention than the mint plants, because they need a little extra time to grow.
This is exactly how you should execute your resolutions. Resolutions are just those plants that need attention and time and patience to help them come to fruition. You plant the seeds in the beginning of the year. Then, you do what you need to do to help those seeds grow.
We are all just tending to our gardens. Sometimes, things can come in our garden and try to ruin the seeds that we've planted. But, we have to be of strong mind and faith and give our gardens the strength and nutrients they need to grow.
The resolutions that we come up with in the beginning of the year don't always have to slowly be abandoned. But, it's also inevitable that sometimes, we'll be busy with other things. That's life! But, it's important to always come back to what we know is best for us and the goals that we set for ourselves. These resolutions are just goals and intentions for the new year that will help us grow and reach our highest potentials.
So, set your resolutions and intentions for 2020 - it's bound to be a good one.
Happy New Year!