New Year Same Me…?
Every January, we hear the same “New Year, New Me” all around us. From friends to TV commercials—the idea is given that with a new year, we can achieve a new version of ourselves—but with little support in the matter. Can you become a new version of yourself with a new year? Or are we doomed to give up or feel unsuccessful in our resolutions?
According to a 2016 study, only 9% of those who made New Year’s resolutions felt like they were successful in keeping them. And 29% of those who were unsuccessful, quit after only one week! So how do we keep our resolutions and become the “new us”?
Know Your Goal
The first step to completing a resolution or phasing into a new version of yourself is to know your goal. Some of the top resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight, learn a new skill or hobby, save money, quit a bad habit, or take more time off. But why do you want to do these things? Is your motivation intrinsic or extrinsic?
If you want to lose weight, is it because you want to feel better in your own skin, or because you don’t want people commenting on your appearance? Do you want to quit your bad habit for yourself, or your nagging partner? Identifying the root of your goal and why you feel you need this change should be your main priority, maybe more than how you accomplish your goal.
The next step is to be specific about your goal, or break your goal into smaller, more achievable pieces. If you want to lose weight, set a number and a date. If you want to hit the gym more, how many times per week, and what time of day are you going? Taking more time off work? How much time, and what will you do during your time off?
The more specific you make your goals, the easier it will be to achieve them. Humans overestimate the amount of things we can get done in a short amount of time, but greatly underestimate the things we can get done in the long term. This is why breaking up your goals into digestible chunks can be extremely beneficial.
Don’t Be Perfect
Perfection is not the goal when it comes to forming new habits, but is often what seems to accompany a New Year’s resolution. Many have the thought, “If I can’t do it right and keep up with it as a whole, I can’t do it,” but you shouldn’t think about it that way. Consistency is key when you’re trying to form a new habit. If you want to be in the gym 3 times a week but seem to always have something come up, the best thing is to set a baseline goal. This means the minimum you can do to feel like you’re progressing, without doing 100%.
For some, this may be going to the gym once per week, for others, it may be making sure you do 10 minutes of some exercise 3 times a week, in or out of the gym. Whatever thing for you seems attainable, or even so minimal you won’t notice the progress.
Don’t Rely on Others
Having an accountability partner is great for setting any goal, but don’t be solely reliant on what others do or think when it comes to the achievability of your goal. What if your accountability partner doesn’t want to go to the gym that day? Does that mean you skip out as well? Or does your goal revolve around what others do or think? Saying “I want a boyfriend by X date,” or “I want the approval of X person,” is setting a goal with the assumption that someone else needs to do an action for you to feel like you achieved a goal. This isn’t particularly useful.
Instead, think of ways you can act for yourself that may result in achieving this goal. If you planned to go to the gym, go with or without your partner. If you want a relationship by the end of a timeline, make a goal to go on a specific amount of dates per month. It’s easy to want to rely on others, but at the end of the day, our goals are our own.
Maybe you don’t need to do more things for your New Year’s resolution, maybe you need to stop doing some things that may be stressing you out or contributing to overwhelm. You could make it your goal to schedule a ME day every month. Some other goals could be having a social media free day or a no spend day. Some tend to think of these as “anti-goals” but they can be just as productive and life changing as other goals if you stick to them.
No matter what your goal is for the new year, remember to take care of yourself and don’t over do it. And as always, have a Happy New Year!
Looking for more ways to improve your quality of life in 2023? Check out the articles from The Dock Line about Self Improvement!