Why it's Good to Make New Year's Resolutions!
Change is the only constant thing and while the entire world is fighting the pandemic, one more change is about to happen, i.e. another new year. Between the constant fear of newer strains of COVID-19 being found and more lockdowns happening in different countries, the hope of getting a vaccine and a cure for the deadly disease is also in the minds of everyone. While all this is happening, time wouldn’t stop, thus we are ready to embrace the New Year with a new zeal, fresh enthusiasm, more dreams, positive wishes, and more expectations.
Though you can make a resolution any time in the year on a special day like your birthday, your marriage anniversary, your spouse’s birthday, or any other specific day. Generally, people prefer making a New Year resolution as it’s been a popular trend for decades and gives you psychological satisfaction to start something fresh with the start of a new year. Moreover, you can take a few resolutions with your friends as well like joining a health club, starting a fitness regime, quit smoking, cut-off unwanted expenses, etc. This way, all of you can share the progress with each other, which keeps you motivated to stick to your resolution.
Why Do People Break New Year's Resolutions!
- It’s quite common to break the resolutions which were taken on a New Year; but have you ever thought about the reasons behind this lenient behavior! The majority of people break the New Year’s resolutions for three major problems, which are: issues with purpose, difficulty in breaking old habits and focusing on specific results. Many people stick to their goals for the initial few days or weeks, but slowly they start losing the required enthusiasm.
- To avoid issues with purpose, set realistic goals, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic has created an atmosphere of uncertainty and depression, you should try to keep your goals simple and easy to achieve. You can also set month wise or quarter wise goals and stick to a particular routine for that amount of time in order to get used to the change and then move to tougher goals.
- The second hurdle is breaking old habits. As we follow a particular routine for years, we get so comfortable and used to that particular atmosphere and lifestyle that our mind accepts the same as our comfort zone. The old habits of years get embedded in our unconscious memory and our system, so when we try to make a change, our mind resists it. To break old habits, take one step at a time and slowly increase the degree of that change. For example, if you smoke 10 cigarettes in a day, start by reducing one stick and continue with 9 cigarettes per day for a few days or weeks before you reduce one more stick and bring it to 8 sticks per day; instead of trying to quit smoking altogether in one go. In the latter option, chances are that you would start smoking again after a few days but when you slowly and gradually adapt to a change, you can easily stick to the new routine.
- Focusing on specific outcomes is another major pullback to keep your new year’s resolution as not reaching the particular goal may deter you from your resolution. In case you have focused on reaching a particular body weight in a certain timeframe, then not reaching the targeted bodyweight in the set time may result in frustration, and eventually, you may give up before reaching the goal.
How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick
- The purpose of making a New Year resolution is to either quit a bad habit, make healthier changes in your lifestyle, or it could be a personal commitment to yourself. However, only 7-8 % of the people successfully stick to them and achieve the set goals while 50% of the people who took ‘New Year Resolutions” give up by mid-January. When you make a new resolution, the initial 21 days are most crucial to start working on the changes as this is the minimum time required for a resolution to transform into a habit.
- Inculcating a new habit, change in lifestyle, or adapting to a new behavior needs time and energy; thus you have to consider a New Year resolution like a marathon, and not a 100-meter race. Given below are a few steps that would help you to stay firm on your New Year’s resolutions in a practical and easy way.
- Dream Big and Start Small – Make a goal that can inspire you, but try to segregate it into sub-goals that are easily achievable. So if you plan to lose 10 kg of body weight, start with the target of reducing 1 kg every month which will be a more balanced and easy approach for your weight loss resolution.
- Write Down Your Goals – Invest in a New Year diary and write down your new year resolutions on the first page. Thereafter, you can write down the action plan for each week and look back after a week to check your progress. The first page would constantly remind you of your resolutions.
- Understand Your Behavior – If you feel resistance to adapt to the new changes, try to understand the reason behind it. If required, make changes to your routine, adapt new ways to do a routine task, or write down the challenges. No one else, but only you can gauge why you like being stuck to your old habits, patterns, and routines.
- Reward Yourself for Small Achievements – Don’t wait to buy your favorite headphones until you quit smoking, but treat yourself with your favorite dish even if you’re able to cut-off a few sticks per day. Celebrating small accomplishments will give you motivation for bigger goals.
- Also, declare your resolutions to your friends and family. This will make you feel accountable, moreover, they will act as a support system whenever you feel demotivated or are off track.
Simple New Year's resolution: Create the Life You Want in Small Steps
Let’s check a few of the simple New Year’s resolutions that can be taken in the coming year to have a better, healthier, and happier life.
Declutter and Simplify Your Life
Talking about simplification! Start with simplifying your life this New Year. The pandemic has given us a chance to understand the value of time, relations, and above all, the importance of life. Make your life easier by investing in some smart gadgets, kitchen appliances, and household appliances like smart speakers, smart switches, smart plugs, an electric Thermo pot, a robotic vacuum cleaner, etc. Donate unnecessary clothes, books, old electronic items, and clean the clutter to create more space in your house. Cut down the time spent on social media, reduce unnecessary screen time, cut down the negative talk, and try to be more disciplined.
Learn Something New
This New Year, take the resolution to learn something new. It can be an old hobby which you may like to revive, learn a new language, a musical instrument, or cooking. You can also enroll yourself in yoga classes or join the nearby health club for learning aerobics, Zumba, or any other fitness regime. Also, if you are apprehensive of going out due to the pandemic, you can subscribe to online classes for learning something new. This would instill the much-required positivity and freshness, especially after a year in which the entire world stood still due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spend More Time with Nature
Humanity understood the importance of a clean and green environment when everything; every factory, vehicle, and industry were closed for months during the pandemic and we witnessed the clean, pollution-free, and fresh air for once in our lifetime. If you have a garden in your home, plant more oxygen giving plants like tulsi, snake plant, bamboo plant, and aloe vera, etc. You can also invest in plants that are used in Ayurveda and get benefitted from the medicinal properties. If you’re living in an apartment and don’t have access to a private garden, then you can do the same on your balcony in flowerpots. Moreover, taking a walk on a lawn is also a healthy way to spend some time with nature. This calms your mind and relieves you of tense thoughts.
Make 'Greener and Cleaner' Choices
While we talked about the environment, not only the factories and vehicles are responsible for the rising CO2 levels, but also the increasing use of plastic and by products made by plastic also play a significant role in polluting the landfills, oceans, and our cities. This New Year, you can take a pledge to use recycled or recyclable materials, use alternatives for plastic wherever possible, ditch the plastic cups, bottled water, bottled oils, or any other staples which come in plastic containers. You can also opt for a plastic-free kitchen by using containers made of stainless steel, bamboo, wood, and use earthen pots instead of the plastic fridge bottles.
Commit to an Hour of Exercise
Many people have become couch potatoes due to the constant lockdowns, work from home, and study from a home culture that rapidly took over our lives in just a matter of a few months. Cases related to physical and mental health have grown exponentially and many people are still apprehensive to visit doctors or join a health club due to the fear of COVID-19. You can take a bow to care for your overall health and well being by prioritizing your health. Take out at least half an hour from your schedule to do hands-free exercise, yoga, meditation, or you can also invest in some home gym instruments, if feasible. You need to be physically and mentally strong to fight during these tough times.
Spend More Time with Family and Friends
With companies promoting work from home and study from home culture, this seems like the new normal. Many are either working from home full time or they have to visit the office 2 -3 days a week. This gives you ample time in hand as your commuting time is saved. You can use this time diligently to spend with family, friends, and relatives. Strengthen the old ties, make new friends, and reignite the love between you and your partner. You can work on your relationship goals this New Year, look back and introspect, learn from the past, and also spend more time with yourself.
Many people have lost their livelihood, jobs, and business during the lockdown; and some are working on reduced salaries. Though things are improving quickly and life is getting back to normal, this year reminds us about the uncertainty in life. Take a resolve to save more for a rainy day by reducing unnecessary expenses, reduce the habit of using credit cards and small loans for petty things, and spend wisely.
Take a Gadget Break
Increasing use of gadgets is a major contributor to strained relations, eye problems, poor posture, neck ache, reduced physical activity, and limited use of our mental capabilities. So this New Year, one of the simple yet effective resolutions you can take is to reduce the use of gadgets including your smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and laptop among others. Try to stay away from social media, emails, and apps for at least a day in the week and see how you can utilize that time for better things.
While we talked about work from home, spending wisely, and taking a gadget break; how about indulging in some reading! Instead of reading on-screen, go back to the old school style and read some physical books, newspapers, magazines, novels, or whatever you like. Social Media is anyways flooded with a lot of myths and fake news, so why not read the real story behind fake narratives. As they say, “Books are Man’s best friend”, and this makes more sense in today’s digital era when the line between truth and fake has thinned like never before.
Unique New Year's Resolutions
Setting New Year's Resolutions means that you are ready to tackle whatever may come that year in order to achieve the set goals. Though there may be obstacles along the way, and many at times people fail to achieve them, it is a good way to help you in achieving long-term goals. This therefore, means when setting New Year's Resolutions, you can make a point to start off with simple resolutions, that are easily achievable with the aim to achieve greater goals. Also, to make it even better, set unique goals so as to achieve more in different domains and spheres of life.