It’s that time of year again. Time to make some New Year’s resolutions! Although there’s no “right” time of year to commit to healthier habits, many people find that the wake of the holidays and the celebration of a new year is a good time to embrace new goals.
You’ve likely noticed that the gym gets more crowded around the new year and fellow shoppers begin ambitiously buying up kale and spinach, but popular resolutions like “working out more,” “eating healthy,” or “getting a promotion at work” are pretty vague, and if you’re not inspired by your resolutions, they’re tough to stick to. Today, we bring you five strategies for making resolutions that are expansive and achievable.
Take stock of the past year
Reflecting on the past year is the best way to figure out where you want the new year to take you. What went well for you? What would you change? What frustrated you? Make a list of your accomplishments and lessons learned and let these reflections fuel your goals for 2022.
Choose a balanced approach
Personal development leader Steven Covey categorizes his work into four key areas of human needs: physical, social, mental, and spiritual. He recommends choosing one or two resolutions that come from different categories. For example, deciding to swim a mile in 2022 falls into the physical category while committing to journaling each morning touches on the mental and spiritual.
You probably aren’t running a marathon in 2022 if you haven’t gone for a jog in over a year. The goal of setting realistic resolutions is not to limit ourselves, but rather to give ourselves attainable and measurable achievements to strive for. Start small and build your way up. This will reduce your chance of burnout. For example, rather than committing to running a marathon, focus on running a 12K in 2022 and set your sights on a half marathon for 2023.
Use increments to your advantage
There’s a reason we broke this article down into five parts. It makes it easier to read and digest. Resolutions work in the same way. Breaking your goals down into achievable chunks will help you reach that finish line. Rather than committing to something vague and overwhelming, like meditating every day, aim to meditate for three minutes each day in January, five in February, seven in March, and so on.
It’s easy to get frustrated with ourselves if we feel like we are failing at our resolutions. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude will help you celebrate the small victories and remind you why you set these resolutions in the first place. If you find yourself feeling disheartened, ask yourself why you are doing this, if it will ultimately serve your higher purpose, and if you would be setting this goal if you set your ego aside.
Whatever your resolutions may be, we hope this article helps you pick some that are truly meaningful to you and will change your life for the better in the year ahead.