Every year in December, millions of people around the world make New Year’s Resolutions. A new year is a great time to make a resolution or a vow to change your life for the better. Unfortunately only a very few people manage to keep a New Year’s resolution longer than January 31. If you really want to change your life, you need to make resolutions you can practically keep. Are you ready to take the challenge of “new year, new you”?
Enthusiasm Vs Practicality
Some people are very enthusiastic when it comes to making new resolutions. While enthusiasm is great, it may not help you achieve the dedication to create a new you in the long term, so your resolutions may just peter out into nothing. Enthusiasm can lead people to the mistake of making too many resolutions to maintain and making impractical resolutions. If you create a long list of resolutions, you are unlikely to keep any of them. Making a single resolution that you actually keep is better than having a long list of resolutions that you don’t keep.
Rather than making a resolution you know, you are unable to keep, such as “I’ll never eat cake again,” you should make a resolution that is practical and still achieves the purpose of reducing your calorie intake by reducing the amount of cake you eat. “I’ll only eat cake as a treat food in a properly balanced nutritional diet,” is a much better and more practical resolution. That way, you won’t break your resolution the first time you eat a piece of cake and you are far more likely to be able to maintain your resolution in the long term.
Wishes Vs Actions
If your list of resolutions reads like a wish list rather than a specific set of actions you plan to take, you won’t achieve your resolutions. “I want to be slim” is not a resolution but a wish statement. “I will moderate my calorie intake and exercise more to lose weight” is a resolution. It gives two specific actions that you can know when you have achieved the resolutions Ensure you give yourself an action to do within the wording of the resolution; otherwise, it is really just a wish.
Vague Vs Specific
If you make a vague resolution with little meaning, you won’t keep it. Even saying,” In 2023 I will lose weight,” can be a bit vague. Ask yourself questions to help make a more specific resolution. For the example of losing weight, you could consider asking yourself:
- How much weight do you want to lose in total in 12 months?
- How much weight can you practically lose each month?
- How will you know if you lose weight (measuring on scales or measuring your waistline, for example?
- How often will you measure your weight and revise your weight loss goals?
- How will you need to change your current lifestyle (exercise and eating patterns) in order to lose weight?
- What parts of your current lifestyle are you unwilling to change to achieve your goal?
Once you have considered the answer to each question, you’ll be able to form a specific resolution that includes particulars of actions you will take and timelines. For example, your final resolution may be “to lose 20 pounds by 2024, losing an average of 1.6 pounds each month. I will achieve this by limiting my treat intake to one treat per week and exercising for an hour three times a week.” This gives you specific actions and attainable goals to meet.
Big Picture Vs Baby Steps
In your enthusiasm at the start of a new year, you could set yourself goals that are too hard to achieve. Even if the goal is practical within the 12 months, you should give yourself smaller goals to achieve on a weekly or monthly basis. That way, if you miss a week, you can still pick up your resolution in the next week and meet your monthly goal, instead of just thinking, “Well, that’s that: I failed again”. Giving yourself mini goals along the way gives you something to celebrate and this will encourage you to keep going. By December, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your big-picture goal.
Your Real Commitment to Change
Although all the steps above will help you to make a new year’s resolution you can keep, you still have to make a real commitment to making changes in your life in order to keep your resolution. Think carefully about what you are committing to in your resolution and plan your daily or weekly schedule accordingly. There is little point in saying you will exercise three times a week for example, if you don’t schedule these three seasons into your diary. Reminders into your calendar at regular intervals. This will help you to maintain your commitment in June or October when it could be easy to forget a resolution you made several months ago. Put your mini goals on the calendar and make a note of your progress each month.
You can make significant changes in your lifestyle in 2023 if you really want to. If you want to create a new you for 2023, make practical, action-orientated resolutions you can break down into baby steps or miniature goals Ensure your spouse, partner, family, and close friends know about your commitment to change and will help you along your path to a new you. Take action and you can achieve your goals for 2023.