New Year’s Resolutions
With 2019 approaching, you may find yourself looking back at your progress over the past year and finding more ways to self-improve. While you may be pleased with the person you have become, have you really fulfilled the resolutions you have set in the past? Did you get in shape, study harder, or read more? We bet you didn’t. In fact, four out of every five resolutions made on New Year’s fall through by the second week of February! While these statistics may seem daunting, it is possible to make your New Years resolution more achievable.
Many find it desirable to set ambitious resolutions at the beginning of the year, and while big resolutions may push some of us to become better, many resolutions are simply too lofty. For example, imagine you rarely exercise and decide to make it a point to go to the gym four times a week, with the hopes of getting into shape. Two weeks subsequent to setting your resolution, you find yourself making a myriad of excuses to avoid making the trip to the gym. Eventually, you decide to cancel your gym membership in the name of “saving money.” The next year, you decide to try your hand once more and end up setting yourself up for the same failure. Sound familiar? According to Janet Polivy and Peter Herman from the University of Toronto, your hypothetical failure can be associated with unrealistic expectations of the amount, speed, ease, and effects of one’s goal. In other words, you expected drastic changes to occur faster than what is realistically possible.
Now, let’s say your New Year’s resolution is to lose fifteen pounds by the end of December. Many would consider this goal to be unattainable. Now, consider exercising just 20 minutes a day and cutting down a little off the top of your plate. Sounds more achievable right? The issue with the millions of resolutions we give up on each year is simple. Having one holistic goal you hope to achieve over the course of a year can be both overwhelming and counterintuitive. Instead of creating one large goal, splitting that goal up into smaller, more achievable ones can place major self-improvement in reach.
So, when setting new resolutions, this year or the next, remember this - while it is perfectly acceptable to think big, think realistically and create a structured path with smaller, feasible goals to reach larger goals.