Science may still have endless questions and debates about the concept of time, but for people across the world, a new year marks the chance for a new beginning. Whether it be cultivating a new hobby, sticking to the gym, maintaining a work-life balance or pushing through an extensive list of books or movies, new year resolutions often follow a notorious pattern, and you may find yourself struggling or even giving up as early as the second week of January.
Can you really make it work? Here are some ways that may help-
- Set Realistic, Stepwise Goals – If you have never in your life gone to the gym, suddenly turning up on the first day of January, likely hung-over from the night before may not be the path to go down. As much as we would want the positive change and its consequences to immediately become a part of our life in the New Year, such a drastic commitment is likely to wear out your effort and motivation. Instead, start slow, and gradually increase the time and effort you put.
- Expect Barriers – It may be counterproductive to think about all the ways in which your resolution can be blocked, but it would also be unrealistic to believe that you will be able to commit to your goal with complete singularity. Taking into consideration possible external and internal barriers such as work schedule, injuries and sickness, other commitments, etc., can help you develop a flexible way of approaching your resolution. Remember, it is not the strictness with which you engage in your resolution, but rather the quality of your efforts that counts.
- Be Open to Change – It may be that you realize that your resolution was perhaps too difficult. Or maybe February brings a completely different work or academic schedule for you, meaning that you are now free on weekdays instead of the weekends. In such cases, it is very easy to become demotivated and frustrated, but once again, remember that you are doing this only for yourself. If the aim of your resolution is to become better in some way, then if adjusting it flexibly to your schedule or abilities is what it takes, do it.
- Hold Yourself Accountable – The promises we make to ourselves are quite easy to dissolve. However, if you employ others to help, you may find yourself sticking to your plan, if only for the sake of your pride. Telling your friends and family about your goals, especially significant ones such as giving up smoking or developing a career profile, can encourage motivation, information provision, and help in the times you feel weak, thereby enabling you to commit to your goals for a longer period of time in a better manner.
- Make It Fun – You are very unlikely to stick to anything, even something that will benefit you immensely, if you do not enjoy it. So, you need to make sure that you have fun. Find the kind of physical exercise you like, whether it be zumba or Pilates. If you wish to read more, look into the genres you have enjoyed in the past. Even abstinence from junk food can be fun if you make healthy meals a tasty challenge that you cook yourself.
It’s true that New Year’s resolutions often end before they start, and that there is never really a marked time wherein you need to begin working on yourself. However, the beginning of the year gives you a clean mental slate, and motivates you to commit to positive changes which you can see bettering your life in the upcoming months. So don’t hesitate to develop a goal, even if you are late to the party.
By Niharika Rawat