How to turn your New Year’s resolutions into real-life results
Justin Mahabir | January, 9, 2023
As we say “farewell” to 2022 and “welcome” to 2023, many of us will take this opportunity to reflect on the past and set new goals for the future. These goals, also known as New Year’s resolutions, can range from small habits to major life changes.
Making New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to motivate ourselves to make positive changes in our lives. However, it is important to remember that resolutions do not have to be big. Sometimes the smallest changes can have the greatest impact.
Here are some tips for making and sticking to your New Year’s resolutions this year:
1. Be Specific
Instead of making a general resolution like “exercise more,” try setting a specific goal, such as “go for a run twice a week,” or “walk to school Tuesdays and Thursdays.” This will give you a clear target to work towards and make it easier to measure your progress.
2. Start Small
Do not try to completely change your life all at once. For example, it would be an unreasonable expectation to try to change your sleep, exercise, eating, and study habits at the same time. This can be overwhelming and unsustainable. When you set unattainable goals, the associated frustration can discourage you from seeing them through, or even worse, prevent you from making changes in the future. Be honest with yourself. Start with small, achievable goals that are within reach and that you can build on over time.
3. Write it down
Write down your goal and your plan for how to achieve that goal. Using a journal to track your progress can help you stay motivated and can serve to remind you of the changes you want to implement in the event you forget about them. If you are the type of person who works better under a deadline, write down a timeline for when you hope to achieve certain steps along the path to your goal.
4. Do not give up
It is easy to fall back into our old ways sometimes out of habit or because we feel our new goal is too difficult to achieve. This is not a reason to abandon your resolution completely. If your goal is to avoid using your cell phone for 2 hours before you go to bed and you are having a hard time following through with this, modify the frequency or the interval length to find something you can stick with. Finding targets that are achievable will create a positive feedback loop of success.
The key to making and sticking to your New Year’s resolutions is to be patient and consistent. Integrating changes and attempting to break old habits takes time and requires committing to new routines. Above all, be kind to yourself. Recognize your successes along the way and applaud yourself for them. Here’s to a year of positive goal setting!
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