January 2, 2019
Making Your New Year Resolutions Stick
Many of us get to the end of the year with a handful of lessons, connections, dreams, pain, and hope. Many of us get to the Jan. 1 with a plan in mind, a plan some call a new year resolution. This plan consists of a list of hopeful goals, set towards the upcoming year that have been decided on because of the events or misfortunes that have happened in the previous year.
However, what we sometimes fail to remember is that New Year’s aren’t meant for a complete character or personality change, they are made for learning and growing. Building on what you already have. It is about reflecting on the past and noticing that change is needed.
Making your resolutions more realistic gives you a greater chance of keeping them throughout the entire year, as well integrating a healthy behaviour while doing so. The American Psychology Association shared a few healthy tips when thinking about your new year resolution:
Decide on resolutions that can be attainable. It is not a “go hard or go home” situation. You need to set goals that are as realistic as possible. For example, if you aim to start exercising more often, start with getting a gym membership for three times a week rather than seven times. This way, you are paving the way for positive emotions towards your aim, instead of seeing your aim like a form of punishment.
Change one behaviour at a time
Work towards replacing the unhealthy behaviours you have developed over time, with healthy ones. This requires time and patience, which surely can’t be rushed. There is no need to reassess everything in your life all at once, instead, work to change one thing at a time.
Talk about it
Talking about your resolutions with family and friends and finding support can help you reach your goals. Try forming a group or take a class with others who have common goals. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes sticking to your resolutions less overwhelming.
Don’t beat yourself up
We all make mistakes and we all learn a ton from them. So when you feel like you broke your resolution, keep in mind that everyone has ups and downs. resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track. Keep in mind that even the most perfect people are not perfect, therefore it is okay if you come across a minor misstep.
Ask for support
Admitting that you need help is a big step forward. There is no shame in accepting help from those who care about you because they will listen, strengthen your resilience, and help you manage stress caused by your resolution. There is also no shame in seeking professional help. Psychologist, support groups, professionals in the field you have set a resolution, they are all here to help.
Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of an overwhelming goal on Jan. 1, can help you reach whatever it is you strive for.
“Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.” - Lynn Bufka
Jade N. Kfoury