We are only a few days from the new year, and while we hope that 2022 was one of the best years in your life, we also know that, for many of us, there are things that we want to work on and ways that we want to personally improve.
That is why, so often, we take January 1st of a new year as an opportunity for resolutions – new changes that we’ve set out for ourselves that we plan to continue through 2023 and beyond.
Making Resolutions is Easy
Making resolutions is very easy. It’s keeping the resolutions that is the problem. Anyone can make a resolution. But keeping the resolution is the most important part of the resolution.
On that front, most of us fail. Even the most noble of goals tends to be easily forgotten or put off after January or February. We promise to exercise more, eat healthier, or engage in some type of activity, and then life catches up with us and we get back into our own habits.
No one can force you to keep your resolutions. But there are strategies and techniques that can help you make resolutions that last. This year, consider the following:
- Choose Genuine Resolutions – Yes, you may want to exercise more. Yes, you may want to eat healthier. These are things you may want to do. But how badly do you really want to do them? Do you want to do it because you think you should, or is it a genuine interest? Choose only resolutions that you have a very strong interest in, so that you are passionate about pursuing them.
- Be Specific – Do you really want to “exercise more” or is there something specific you want to do? Maybe you want to go hiking more, or train for a marathon, or lose exactly 15 lbs. The more specific you are, the easier it is to make progress towards those goals. The more generic the goal, the harder it is to feel focused or accomplished.
- Create Sub-Goals and a Plan – Once you have resolutions in mind, turn them into smaller goals and make sure they’re scheduled into your calendar. For example, if you plan to eat healthier, set a goal of cooking dinner 5x a week, make a list of healthy foods, and plan them on your calendar in advance so you know what to do and when.
- Create Habits – Let’s say you plan to floss every day. Saying “I’m going to floss” doesn’t always work. Instead, you need to turn it into a habit – a regular part of your routine. You can do this by tying it to another habit (for example, brushing teeth at night), making sure you do it before you brush your teeth, keeping floss visible at all times so you never forget, and setting alarm reminders. You can do this with many other resolutions that you’re considering.
- Find a Buddy – Accountability plays a strong role in the ability to keep resolutions. You are far more likely to continue with one if you know that someone is waiting on you or depending on you. For example, don’t join a gym alone, but go with a friend, and make a plan to schedule it in together. Instead of meals for yourself, share meals with a friend, where you both take turns eating them together.
Above all else, make sure that you’re also addressing any issues in your life that may be keeping you from achieving your goals. Stress, anxiety, relationship issues – these are all things that can create challenges that affect your ability to keep your resolutions and make the changes that you’re looking for in your life. If you haven’t yet, let self-care and therapy be a resolution that you strongly consider keeping this year. Learn more by contacting Flourish Psychology today.