With a new year (finally) upon us, the discussion around the efficacy of making New Year’s resolutions has begun.
Personally, I'm inclined to make New Year’s resolutions and stick by them – more or less – throughout the year. While I may slack in achieving these targets from time to time, I tend to keep them in mind as the year progresses. I try to set reasonable goals and do my best to mentally track my progress, whether it’s eating more vegetables, increasing my water intake or calling my parents more frequently.
Of course, COVID-19 threw a wrench into my resolutions for 2020. The pandemic proved how even the best-laid plans can be impacted by external factors.
For example, it was hard for me to achieve my exercise goals when fitness facilities were either closed or operating under reduced capacities and other restrictions for most of the year. Another of my resolutions was to look at electronic screens less. Considering the need to stay at home as much as possible in 2020, you can imagine how poorly I fared with this particular ambition. I certainly got my money’s worth out of my Netflix account last year.
A resolution I’m happy to say I stuck with in 2020 was proposing to my now-fiance. I admit it was more of a decision rather than a resolution, but regardless, I’m glad I followed through.
There are a few things I would like to work on this year. As I’ve always been guilty of looking to and planning for the long-term future, my main resolution is to live more in the moment.
Adversely, I’m also the type of person who dwells on the past or looks back at certain events or times in my life with nostalgia. I need to learn to recognize when I’m enjoying a particular day or event as it happens, instead of coming to the realization weeks or months afterwards that it was, in fact, noteworthy.
If you are like me and plan to make New Year’s resolutions, I have a few tips to help you follow through. Set specific and attainable goals that you know you will be motivated to stick with. Don’t just set a goal, but also make a detailed plan that outlines how you will achieve that goal. Be patient throughout the process; change takes time.
Finally, determine why you set the goal in the first place and write it down. Remembering your initial motivation is key if you find you're slacking on your resolutions as the year progresses.