Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions

It’s January, and that means people have made and are in the process of breaking their New Year’s Resolutions. Sometimes we get caught up with reaching the end of one year and wanting to get a “fresh start” in the New Year by planning changes in/to our lives that are unreasonable and unrealistic. Unfortunately, most of us, if not, all of us, are guilty of not following through with the majority of resolutions we make. I, for example, have passed on three particular resolutions year-to-year, for the last three years (1. run a marathon, 2. get a tattoo, 3. learn to drive a stick shift).

So, why do people still bother making resolutions? Who knows. At the end of the day, there’s no harm done by making resolutions and not following through with them. If anything, it’s just annoying when someone boasters about what they plan on doing (and then fail to do so), as opposed to someone who makes a plan and simply keeps it to themselves.

The way I see it, there are a few approaches you can take to follow through with your New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Refocused approach: make a short list of reasonable and realistic resolutions. In other words, don’t take on something you are very unlikely to accomplish. Start out with baby steps, and then expand out.
  2. Rack-up approach: make a long list, a really long list of resolutions. The basis behind this approach is that the more resolutions you can accumulate on a list, the more likely you are to accomplish something on that list.
  3. Rhetorical approach: make your resolutions the opposite of what you wish to accomplish. Example: if you want to start exercising, make your resolution to not exercise. Therefore, if you don’t exercise, you have accomplished your resolution (congratulations!), but if you happen to exercise, that’s a not a bad thing (congratulations!). Win-win.

That last one is a bit of a mind game, but the other two are legit approaches. Try them out!

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2 responses to “Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions”

  1. Wilson Perez says :

    A variation of the refocused approach is to set very simple goals for yourself in an area that you want to improve on. That way if you accomplish more than you planned to(and you most likely will) you feel like an over-achiever! =P

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