2020 is fast approaching, and you’re probably thinking about your New Year’s Resolution. Are you set on your resolution already? Or are you wondering about their effectiveness, which you should pick, how to implement your “New Year, New Me” mindset, or thinking of abandoning the tradition altogether? Luckily for you, I have a few opinions and tips to help you get your new year started with a bang!
Are New Year’s Resolutions Effective?
If you’ve found that you never stick to your Resolution, it might be because you’re setting the bar too high. It’s great to have high expectations of yourself, but it can be upsetting and confidence-crushing when you fall below your goal. If you know you’re a bit of a pushover so you don’t bother trying that hard because you know there won’t be any real consequences (I am VERY guilty of this) then setting easier and smaller goals can be a great way to get started.
Personally, I think traditional New Year’s Resolutions are only effective for people who can be completely strict with themselves and have high motivation. For example, the most common Resolution every year is to lose weight, so instead of promising yourself that you’re going to go to the gym every day and lose half your body weight, say that you’ll go to the gym once every 2 weeks. Say that you’ll go once a month. Say that you’ll aim to lose just a couple of pounds each month.
We all have busy lives and most Resolutions are broken within the first month – so it’s much easier to stick to a Resolution when you start small and keep your Resolutions realistic for your lifestyle. If you find that you’re smashing those small goals week after week or after a few months, feel free to increase that goal.
Remember that New Year’s Resolutions are only as effective as you want them to be.
Which Resolution Should I Pick?
The best way to pick a Resolution is to reflect on things you’ve done over the past year and pick out parts of yourself, or your life, you would like to alter and choose a Resolution that would best help you with that goal.
If you’re still stuck, here are 10 of some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions to help you get thinking:
- Lose weight.
- Exercise more.
- Quit smoking.
- Save money.
- Travel more.
- Read more.
- Spend more time with family.
- Learn a new skill.
- Get more organised.
- Drink less alcohol.
If you’ve tried Resolutions and found that you hate implementing them or you find them too difficult to keep up with, try an alternative instead.
I’m a big fan of the “Word of the Year” approach – I find it more flexible and it can be applied to many areas of your life instead of just one. There’s no pressure to improve on one specific thing meaning there’s a smaller chance of experiencing that feeling of failure.
The aim of the Word of the Year is to pick a word to make the focus of the next 12 months and actively be mindful of that word in the things you do.
Popular words include Creativity, Peace, Mindfulness, Positivity, Fearless, Change, Health, Growth, and Love. Make a list of words that you would like to implement in your life and choose the one that speaks to you the most.
If the Word of the Year doesn’t appeal to you, try making a yearly Bucket List of 12 small things you’d like to do or achieve that year. Even if you don’t complete them all, you’ll manage to do at least one, and that’s always better than nothing!
If being introspective isn’t your cup of tea, why not write a list of things you’re looking forward to over the next year? Is there a book or a movie you’re excited about? Are you going on holiday or is someone you love having a milestone birthday or anniversary? Make a list of everything to give yourself reasons to be excited about the upcoming new year.
Resolutions are often about “fixing” a problem area of your life, and whilst that works for some, it can be more effective to celebrate your flaws and your little quirks. Focusing on loving certain aspects of your life and doing more things to celebrate you in all your unique glory can remove the pressure of failure.
You could even focus on someone else instead of yourself. If you don’t want a Resolution, or you can’t think of something you want to celebrate or improve about yourself, try focusing on other people. Aim to give to charity every month, volunteer your time to loved ones or strangers, go out of your way to be kind and make someone’s day a little brighter. You’ll be amazed at what you discover and cultivate about yourself when thinking of others before yourself.
- Be realistic and start small.
- Alter your goals frequently to suit your lifestyle.
- Pick something that will be most beneficial to your life.
- Try an alternative.
- Celebrate your quirks and flaws.
- Focus your energy on others.
I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season and that you have a very Happy New Year!