Why We’re Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions

by Catherine Nicholls

Look, we’ve all been there. Two weeks into a new decade, and your previous plans to eat healthy, drink a gallon of water a day and go to the gym are out the window. You also haven’t read the six books that you should have so far. Or even come close to waking up at the ridiculous time you set for yourself. You know why? New Year’s Resolutions, or at least this type of resolution, often aren’t realistic. They’re impossible for a normal person to achieve without significant lifestyle change, and that change isn’t going to come overnight. They’re supposed to be inspirational and motivating, but often just end up in frustration. So why do them? We’re here to say that New Year’s Resolutions need a major overhaul, and stat.

We say, if you’re going to have resolutions, set them small

One of our resolutions for this year is to try to listen to one new song a day. We also want to try and make one new recipe every fortnight, and try to read one book a month. That’s it for quantitive goals – we don’t want to hold ourselves to crazy standards or push a dramatic change. In terms of resolutions that you can tick off when you’ve done them, try to think of things that you can feasibly fit into your daily routine. This way you’ll be proud of yourself when you complete your tasks, but won’t be consumed by them. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t feel disappointed with yourself if you don’t get things done too. You’re human and you have other things to focus on. This isn’t the be all and end all of your existence.

Focus on the long-term you, not a quick fix that won’t last

In terms of non-quantitive resolutions, it can be hard to know when you’ve accomplished your goal. Wording is super important here – instead of saying ‘I will be a better friend’, or ‘I will become healthier’, try something along the lines of ‘I will work on becoming a more active listener’, or ‘I will devote more time to my diet and fitness’. The more specific a task, the easier it will be to work on. It’s also totally fine to be working on things over a long period of time. In the grand scheme of things, a year is nothing. Sometimes it’ll take a few years to totally fulfil a goal, and that’s totally fine. The important thing is that you’re working on bettering yourself.

If you don’t want to change yourself, why not write down things you’re looking forward to this year?

New Year’s Resolutions can be daunting. If you already have a lot on your plate, or don’t want to stress over added tasks in your life, don’t feel pressured to join in with the status quo. A great alternative for resolutions is a list of things you’re grateful for. Another is a list of things you’re looking forward to in the upcoming year. This doesn’t have to be specific events – you could just be excited for the first day of summer, or an occasion to wear that new pair of shoes.

At the end of the day, New Year’s Resolutions are all about working towards being a better person, or dealing with life in a more manageable way. Taking any step towards this is a massive surge in the right direction. After all, it’s the journey that’s really the important part.

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