Now that it’s officially 2022, your New Year’s resolutions should have taken effect. For most folks, that means subtle lifestyle changes with the goal of a healthier and more active year. With that said, it’s important to take a look at what kind of resolutions are healthy-and which might actually be unhealthy. Are your New Year’s resolutions the best they could be? Let’s take a look.
Resolution #1: Set Reasonable Goals
You’ve probably heard it before: “new year, new me.” It sounds ambitious and transformative, but no one expects you to become a different person in the span of 365 calendar days. Instead of setting unreasonable expectations, like a complete transformation, start with smaller goals, like minimizing or eliminating a bad habit.
Let’s say you have a goal to completely stop eating junk food. Rather than trying to completely abstain from January 1st throughout the whole year, try to eat unhealthy less than once or twice a month. Research has shown quitting something “cold turkey” can be less effective than tapering off usage or talking over the cessation of the habit in question with your doctor.
On a similar note, perhaps you set a goal to “exercise more” (the most common New Year’s resolution of 2021). While that’s a noble, healthy goal, it’s also vague and unreasonable. If you didn’t exercise at all in 2020, you could take a walk around the block and call the year a win. Instead, think more reasonably and set a more tangible goal, like joining a gym and going a few times a week, investing in home exercise equipment, or joining a recreational sports team.
A good New Year’s resolution should be both ambitious and measurable-difficult enough that it inspires real change, yet not impossible or unreasonably lofty. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure, but you also don’t want to give yourself false praise.
Resolution 2: Focus on What You Want to Change, Not What Others Want You To Change
Perhaps most importantly, your New Year’s resolution(s) should reflect your own personal values. The secret to success is more than just setting the right goals: it’s setting goals for which you have a passion. That means looking for improvement and growth in yourself over all else. In other words, your goals or resolutions should be what you want, not what others want.
According to researcher FranklinCovey, over one-third of folks who make a resolution give up before the end of January. One of the most common reasons people give up is because they set a goal that society expects them to set and not a goal of which they have any hope-or aim-of achieving.
Set goals that you would be proud to achieve. A good rule of thumb is this: a resolution is good if you can achieve it, not tell anyone, any still feel good about it. While making your goals public may help with accountability, if it’s not something you really care about, you also won’t care if you fail.
Resolution 3: Set Yourself Up For Success
According to Statista, in 2018, only 4% of survey respondents stuck to their resolutions for the entire year. Another main reason so many people gave up? They had no support system. Whether you reward yourself for success or surround yourself with motivators and those who will hold you accountable, a support system will significantly increase your odds of achieving your goals.
Your goals will invariably face obstacles throughout the year-some days (or weeks) you might feel like staying in bed, splurging on retail therapy, or chowing down a greasy burger and fries-but if you have the right support system in play, you’ll be able to ward off those cravings and stick to your guns.
Will You Accomplish Your New Year’s Resolutions?
Are your resolutions for 2022 reasonable? Are they resolutions you really feel passionate about? Do you have a support system to help keep you accountable?
Write your resolutions down in a notebook and check back daily-or weekly-to make sure you’re on track. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, and loved ones for help. With the right plan, 2022 can be your year!