Well, it’s that time of year again! No matter where you turn, or who you talk to, it seems as though New Year’s resolutions are everywhere. If you’re anything like me, sticking to a New Year’s resolution can be tough. Not to mention, coming up with practical resolutions can be tricky. How do you know what to choose? What’s the best option? Although this time of year can represent growth and change, it can also be complicated and taxing. Once you’ve made a resolution, how do you stick with it?
What is a New Year’s Resolution?
You can think of a “resolution” as a goal. At the beginning of each year, in an attempt to start off the year confidently, we create goals that will hopefully better ourselves and our lives.
Why is it So Hard?
For many people, the New Year can be an exciting time. With the promise of change on the horizon, we’re eager to grow. However, that eagerness can prompt many people to make too many resolutions or even make unrealistic resolutions. It’s not until after the holiday that we realize we’ve overcommitted. Instead of scaling back, it seems as though we simply give up – which creates the unwinnable cycle of New Year’s resolutions.
How Do You Make a Good Resolution?
For starters, a “good resolution” will vary from person to person. Something that is beneficial for you, may not be beneficial for someone else. In order to create a realistic goal, you will need to determine what’s important for your own self-growth.
Step 1) Evaluate your strengths and weakness. By determining which areas need the most growth, you can determine which resolutions are the most obtainable.
Step 2) Assign value to your areas of growth. If you determine you have more than one area of growth, prioritize the area that’s most important to you.
Step 3) Create a list of potential resolutions. Let’s pretend you want to become healthier and fit. Your potential list may include exercise and clean eating.
Once you’ve completed these steps and created a list of potential resolutions, you can begin to determine which resolutions are most suitable for your life. The key here, which is the most important part, is to pick resolutions that are going add to your life – not take away from it. You’re more likely to commit to your resolution if it compliments your life.
What Does a Good Resolution Look Like?
Going back and pretending that we want to become healthy and fit, we may decide to commit to daily exercise. That doesn’t seem so bad, right? Maybe not for someone who regularly exercises. However, if you’re someone that has never exercised before, committing to daily exercise may be overwhelming. Instead, committing to exercise twice a week might be the better option. In this instance, committing to a resolution that doesn’t overwhelm you is more likely to be a resolution you keep.
How Do I Stick to My Resolution?
This part can be complicated, but ultimately comes back to you. Regardless of the resolution you want to achieve, you have the control to stick (or not to stick) to the resolution you chose. If you pick a resolution that is important to you, compliments your life, and provides a positive change – then you’ve nailed it! Only you can decide how long a resolution must last before it’s consistently part of your life.
Checking-In with Yourself
As the hype of “New Year’s Resolutions” begins to fade, and life begins to reemerge, how do you keep up with your resolutions? The best answer is to be honest with yourself. Is this resolution still positively impacting your life? Is this goal still obtainable? As long as you set reasonable and realistic expectations for yourself, your resolution is what you make it. Many people believe that resolutions are only achieved if others can see the progress – this is wrong. With society highlighting the oohs and ahhs of social media, it can feel like you’re not achieving your resolution if you can’t “post” or “prove” your progress. However, you must remember that the progress of your New Year’s resolution can only be measured by you. Be honest with yourself, check-in, and determine what’s best for you.
Remember, a good resolution should add to your life – not take away from it.
Counseling Intern Level 1