Why even bother making new year’s resolutions? New Year’s resolutions signal a commitment to self-improvement, which is fundamentally rooted in self-love.
If you find yourself making the same resolutions every year, it’s time to take a step back and consider making some you’ll actually keep. Luckily, we’re here to guide you through the process.
The most important step is to be realistic about what you can achieve in a year. It doesn’t make sense to resolve to become an Olympic athlete when you can hardly run a mile. Choosing a practical objective is pretty important to make sure you can actually fulfil your promise.
The second step is to be specific. The more specific the better: use measurable quantities when setting your goals. For example, instead of resolving to ‘go to the gym more’ say ‘go to the gym twice a week’. Clarifying any vagueness helps you stay on track to meet your goal because you can tell precisely when you’re slacking.
Another overlooked aspect of new year’s resolutions is the importance of positive language. If thinking about your goal doesn’t fill you with joy, you need a new goal. You need to frame your resolutions in a positive light so that you feel good as you work to achieve them. This framing can be as simple as reminding yourself of why you’re working towards the goal e.g. ‘adopting healthier eating habits’ instead of ‘stop eating so much garbage’. If self-improvement is the endgame, it doesn’t make sense to tear your current self down.
Reward yourself. You heard me: treat yourself. You deserve to feel special along the way. Of course, this step, and the entire process more broadly requires some amount of self-discipline, but the previous steps should have at least made it easier and more enjoyable for you to self-monitor.
The last step is optional: involve others. This works best if you’re an extrovert, i.e. someone who finds themselves energised by being around people. If you can involve others in your goal setting you’ll have those people to rely on when you self-discipline is less than it should be. Chances are, you’re friends with people who have similar life goals and values, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find someone to rope in.
Happy New Year!