When making New Year’s Resolutions, it is tempting to make generalised, lavish expectations – “to be happier”, “to be fitter” – in hopes that anything we do throughout the year, even as our motivation dwindles past the first couple months, will contribute to the success of those resolutions. But resolutions shouldn’t be something we make half-heartedly, because when they lack thought, they will never work out. Here are a few of my tips for making resolutions that we can stick to:
- Quantity will help us avoid generalised and vague resolutions. Set specific goals: for example, instead of “to be fitter”, try “to go to the gym three times a week” or “to run the local 5k marathon”, or instead of “to learn a new language”, try “to gain a beginner’s qualification in Italian”. Give yourself something to strive towards, rather than that which is hard to measure. Otherwise you will just feel lost and never satisfied with anything you do.
- Make your resolutions realistic enough for you to actually be motivated to do them. I encourage you to have dreams in all aspects of your life, but don’t expect to become an expert at something in a year or to be able to go from 0 to 100 without any preparation at all. Be challenging, but make your resolutions doable, otherwise you will easily feel like a failure and rapidly lose interest.
- If your resolutions are not controllable, for example “to win the lottery”, you are already increasing your chance of failure from the very beginning. Resolutions can be your dreams and goals, but make sure that a majority of its success can be achieved by you, without having to rely heavily on chances that are out of your control.
- Reflecting on the past year is just as important as looking forward to the new, and this can be instrumental to your success in the New Year. For example, you may have found that your occasional yoga session really helped improve your outlook on life, such as reducing stress. So if you want to be happier in the New Year, why not make a resolution about fitting a yoga session in three times a week? Looking at what has worked for you and what hasn’t worked for you in the past can help you define what will work for you in the New Year too.
What are some of your tips for New Year’s Resolutions?