Breaking Down A New Year's Resolution

Vinitha Pastor's picture

Towards the end of every December, we start thinking about what New Years’ resolution we are going to achieve in the next year. It has always been fascinating to me that on January 1st, everyone decides that they are going to make a change. They are going to do something to better their lives in the following year. Which is a wonderful idea! There is always something in our lives that we want to be better. And January 1st seems like the ideal day to start. Let’s get the new year off to a fabulous start!

And then come February, we are typically right back to where we started. The resolution is somewhere still in our head, but life gets in the way of actually achieving the goal that we had such high hopes for. Reality sets back in and we stop making time to get those things done.

Why does this happen?

When we usually set resolutions, we make blanket statements of how we want the next year to go. Here’s a news flash- the next year is 365 days. That’s a really long time! When we get stuck on those blanket statements, we get overwhelmed and then we revert back to exactly how things were before. So in addition to the resolution, set some small goals that tie into that resolution. Don’t get so focused on the end goal as much as the process of how you are going to get there.

If your resolution is to lose weight, figure out how much weight. Then think about what you want to do to achieve it. If you join a gym, instead of telling yourself to go every day, say to yourself that you are going to go three times a week for 20 minutes. Start small and work your way up. I guarantee you that if you tell yourself you are going to go every day, then you eventually will stop going. And then you will feel guilt.

So here’s what you do: Set a resolution. Be specific on what that resolution means to you. Then make a plan of how you want to achieve that goal. From that plan, set small, achievable goals and take one step. Accept that you won’t be perfect every day because no one is. And hopefully, the next December, as you reflect on the year, even if you didn’t fully achieve your resolution, you did something. And the more “somethings” you do, the more likely that change will happen.