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Why New Year Resolutions Don’t Always Work

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Everybody wants to work on themselves and be a better version of them. However, it is really difficult to let go of old, bad habits, and form new ones, especially on New Year since the expectations from oneself is tremendously high at the start of the year.

It’s the last week of December and you thought that this year would be different. This year, you would not slack and procrastinate to the point of self-sabotage. You make new resolutions, maybe not publicly, maybe in your mind, and decide to stick to achieving it by putting in the work required. It can be anything ranging from paying more attention to your academics, being more kind or as cliché as going to the gym regularly.

Cut to the New Year and it’s the third day of the year and you find yourself staring at the ceiling giving up the resolutions you made, the promises you made to yourself. Is there a reason why nobody seems to stick up to their resolutions, except for those highly- motivated and high functioning adults? Maybe we give up too easily, maybe we never really wanted it that much, maybe we have accepted that New Year resolutions are bound to fail and that everyone fails and you’re not alone. Now, this aim of yours ends up staying on that resolution list with no physical evidence.

You don’t need to wait till the end of December to make yourself better, but sometimes New Year can be a great way to push yourself to make better, smarter goals for yourself. Here are a couple of tips for your new year’s resolutions:

  1. Be specific: Don’t say I want to ‘get fit’. Let’s make it a quantifiable goal – I want to weigh 5 kilos more or 5 kilos less by this date.
  1. Be reasonable: Don’t take too much into your plate. You won’t magically be an Olympic athlete by December, and you won’t suddenly have no urge to smoke if you’ve been smoking for a while. Old habits die hard. So, keep your goals attainable.
  1. Plan your journey: You won’t suddenly know what the right steps are into being a happy, healthy person in 2019. Unfortunately, there’s no manual. You have to know yourself, and plan out what steps you wish to take along the way. Make weekly and monthly sub-goals.
  1. Expect rough patches: You won’t have great workout days all year round. You won’t succeed all the time when you’re trying to manage your anger. Sometimes you will slip, and smoke one cigarette, or eat a packet of cookies. Expect setbacks, and learn to bounce back from them.
  1. Expect demotivation: This is the part where we all seem to hit a major roadblock. What do I do when I just don’t feel like it? The trick is to preempt your brain’s lazy response. Make a plan for exactly what to do, when you don’t feel like it, and how you can push yourself.
  1. Reward yourself: You’re doing a lot of work, mentally and physically, in just trying to work on your goals. No matter how small or trivial your task seems to be, reward yourself! Remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve accomplished!
  1. Guilt is bad for you: Feeling guilty about not doing as much as you had hoped, having a setback, and general deviations from your plan can actually be counterproductive. If you obsess over just how much you’ve failed, and not your wins, you’ll have a hard time progressing.

Hopefully, at the end of the year you find yourself satisfied with all the hard work you did to achieve that goal of yours and make new resolutions to make yourself even a better person.

Feature Image Credits: Naijaloaded

Disha Saxena

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