>> MAKING, AND MAYBE KEEPING, RESOLUTIONS
New Year’s resolutions offer a moment of appraising your previous year’s performance and modifying your behavior to better bring out the ideal version of yourself that you keep convincing yourself you are capable of becoming (but who the rest of us have yet to meet).
A recent study showed that only around 40 percent of people bother making these resolutions, and only about 8 percent keep them. So, are you feeling like a hot shot?
Always impressive at parties, completely unrealistic resolutions are a hit in New Year’s Eve conversations. Fanciful ideas, like “I’m going to give up caffeine,” or “This is my last night drinking alcohol,” work wonders for the excitement of the evening because of the sense of urgency this proposed life modification creates. This could be the last Red Bull vodka you ever drink, so raise your glass to the last hurrah. Nobody will hold it against you that you didn’t keep to it, so live it up while you still can and don’t worry about sticking to it until after the clock strikes midnight.
Setting too hefty of a weight-loss or diet goal is another way to prevent the change from actually occurring. The best way to make a health goal pay off is to make it realistic. Rather than saying, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds,” why not narrow it down to more tangible goals that address specific habits? For example, “I’m going to stop drinking milkshakes every night and drink a fruit smoothie instead.” Substitutions actually are a realistic way to impact your dietary intake. To sub out greens for mac salad or fries could make a big difference if you eat out a lot.
At the end of the day, if it took New Year’s for you to think about making a change in your life, you might want to make it your resolution to check in with yourself a little more often. New Year’s only comes around once a year, and you have another 360-something days to make better choices in your life.
Go ahead and give it a try to make a resolution, but try to keep it an ongoing process. Some top areas of change include: frivolous spending, chemical vices, diet, exercise, relationships with people around you and organizational/time management goals.
It’s your life, and you’re going to be the one who has to answer for your habits. For now, figure out what you’re going to be doing on the holiday, who you want to surround yourself with and what you want to do. Chances are your friends make the same mistakes as you, so take New Year’s Eve as a date to think about what’s wrong with them, then pull a Ghandi and be that change you want to see.
Happy New Year, and good luck with your resolution — you’re gonna need it!