There’s a great promise in setting New Year’s Resolutions; the promise that come the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve, we’ll be gifted with a fresh page, a whole new year, to write our dreams into reality.
While it is, of course, possible to make positive changes in our lives at any point during the year — there is still some immensely rewarding and pleasing psychological mechanism at play when it comes to the idea of hitting the ground running with a whole set of new goals to pursue.
The issue is, of course, that New Year’s Resolutions often don’t linger around very long. In fact, many of them die off before February has even made an appearance.
There are various reasons for why this happens, ranging from our goals being too ambitious, to them being simply poorly formulated.
One of the key reasons why resolutions fail, however, is simply because we’ve neglected t lay the right framework in order to hit the ground running.
Here are a few things you can to make sure that you meet your resolutions head-on when the time comes.
Prepare to taper off your bad habits
A staple theme in New Year’s Resolutions is dropping destructive habits or addictions, ranging from smoking to a perhaps over-enthusiastic appreciation of refined sugar.
The problem is that resolving to drop a well established bad habit cold turkey is often a very difficult and stressful process, not least of all if combined with other assorted commitments and resolutions in the same timespan.
Instead of resolving to quit your bad habits completely by the end of the countdown, begin preparing yourself to paper off your bad habits instead, and set the final “quit” date a month or two down the line. This will allow you to, for example, transition from smoking to using an e-cigarette from a website like https://www.aspireeciguk.co.uk, or to slowly begin eliminating unhealthy items from your diet one by one.
Write down some habits you want to adopt rather than goals
Goals are generally considered the gold standard in terms of resolutions and positive life change in general, but there’s good reason to think that formulating your desires as specific goals may not always be the best idea in every instance.
One of the reasons for this is that we tend to set our goals, their parameters, and timelines, without being able to fully anticipate how future events may interfere with our plans.
For many things, such as losing weight, it can be much more effective to write out the habits we’d like to form instead. Unlike goals, habits aren’t rooted to a specific point in the future. Instead, habits are the positive acts we perform every day which, over time, move us in the direction we want to go.
Dedicate a bit of time to some “spring cleaning” (in winter)
One thing which can easily break the spell of the “fresh slate” offered by the New Year is by leaving our homes surrounded by the general mess and clutter which has previously irritated or distracted us in the previous year. Not only does clutter take up space, it can also lead to us feeling psychologically overwhelmed as, as many before have observed, a cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind.
Do yourself a favour by moving your spring cleaning forward to winter, and using it as a pre-New Year’s ritual.