With the holidays approaching, people begin creating New Year’s resolutions. Some resolutions result in positive lifestyle changes, but others never come to fruition. To help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions, here are some tips and tricks on the kinds of resolutions to avoid.
Some studies indicate that around 12% of people believe they have achieved their New Year’s resolutions. However, experts agree that while most resolutions go unfulfilled, they are positive in changing behavior. Those who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who do not.
Resolutions to Avoid
Some typical New Year’s resolutions include dieting, exercising every day, living healthier lifestyles, and managing time better. While these goals seem positive, experts advocate avoiding them since they can be detrimental to physical or mental health. Unfortunately, these resolutions fail because they aren’t specific enough, measurable, and actionable, while other times, they’re made for the wrong reasons.
Here are five resolutions you want to avoid making this coming year:
1: Resolving to Lose Weight
This commonly made resolution should be avoided for several reasons: it can lead to unhealthy decisions including starving yourself, or eating an incorrect proportion of food for your body. Specify the amount of weight you want to lose, and make sure it’s healthy for your body. Additionally, you can talk to your doctor or nutritionist about setting eating and exercising goals.
2: Resolving to Manage Stress Better
If there are situations or people in your life causing you stress, make time for yourself, do things that relax you, and return to these situations and people later.
3: Resolving to Reinvent Yourself
If you reinvent yourself, whether physically or mentally, it can be negative for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Forcing yourself to be a more positive person can lead to a toxic positivity that strains your mental health, and wanting to look a certain way can lead to negative feelings about your body and toxic thoughts about yourself. If there is something you want to change, clarify the reasons for doing so.
4: Resolving to Break Off a Relationship until the New Year
If you believe that a relationship is harming your mental and physical health, it’s best to break it off immediately rather than wait for the New Year.
5: Resolving to Fall in Love or Begin a New Relationship
By setting up such expectations, you might become discouraged when you do not fall in love or begin a new relationship. You can even begin to question yourself and view yourself negatively. Instead, try to focus on yourself and allow the option of love to be open, but don’t force it to happen.
A Smarter Method for Crafting Resolutions
While setting New Year’s goals and resolutions can help change behavior, keeping them is a difficult task. One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their resolutions is because they are not well developed.
Experts advise the use of the SMART method when making New Year’s resolutions. This method defines and clarifies the goals of New Year’s resolutions. Furthermore, it offers a framework people can use to craft their resolutions and ultimately achieve them.
The SMART method was developed by the Journal of Management Review in 1981 for managerial purposes but has proven useful in other contexts, including setting New Year’s Resolutions. The SMART method advocates setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
- Specific goals help eliminate vagueness and define exactly what is being achieved. For example, someone could resolve to lose weight in the next year, but this goal is easily redefined without specifying how much weight, causing this resolution to go unrealized.
- Measurable goals are easily achieved since they quantify the goal. Measurable goals necessitate tracking progress on a goal or using other tools to ensure that these goals are being met. For example, the person desiring to get better sleep in the upcoming year should set specific times in which they intend to sleep, whether it be time frames or hours of sleep per night.
- Achievable goals are essential when crafting resolutions. This is not to say that a person cannot set ambitious goals, but sometimes small goals can lead to a bigger one. If a person resolves to travel at least fifty times in the upcoming year, several factors must be considered, including destinations, costs, etc. If these factors cannot reasonably be met, then the goal should be changed.
- Relevant goals determine whether or not a person is motivated to achieve these resolutions. These are some basic questions to ask when crafting a resolution: is this a goal I want to achieve? What’s the motive behind setting this goal? For example, the person desiring to reinvent themselves could be doing so because they feel pressured to do so. If that’s the case, they are less willing to stick to the resolution. The more important and relevant the resolution is to the person making it, the more willingly they will complete it.
- Time-bound goals are crucial to fulfilling resolutions. By creating time constraints, resolutions become more urgent and force us to complete these goals within the set timeframe. The longer these goals go for, the more easily it is to let them go unfulfilled.
A Parting Reminder
If you’re looking to change a few things in your life this coming year with a New Year’s resolution, remember to follow the SMART method. Be specific with your goals, measure your progress, make achievable goals, make sure these goals are relevant, and lastly, make sure they are bound by time constraints. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to craft achievable New Year’s resolutions. Happy holidays!