How come at the start of each year we have the same resolutions as last year?
The start of the New Year is an exciting time that brings forward fresh energy full of new opportunities and reinvention. While exciting, this time of reflection encourages people to set resolutions and goals that may be unrealistic. It’s great to set new intentions and change old habits, but with increased pressure to change, it can harm your mental health rather than help.
For most people New Year’s resolutions may look a little familiar- eating healthy, losing weight, starting a new hobby, saving money, cleaning more, you name it. How come at the start of each year we have the same resolutions as last year?
For example, you set a resolution to go the gym five days a week right at the start of the year or give up your favorite junk food in the name of “being healthy.” Let’s say you miss a day or two at the gym, you may start to feel discouraged or even guilty for not sticking to your resolution. The truth is, getting to the gym five days a week is quite the challenge. Setting small realistic intentions is the best way to change a habit. Instead of going to the gym every day, make it a goal to go for a walk a few days a week. Instead of cutting out your favorite snack, perhaps incorporate a balanced diet with your favorite foods alongside some fresh fruit or vegetables.
According to an article by Discover Happy Habits, the statistics of sticking to a New Year resolution proved to be a big challenge. It states “According to a 2016 study, of the 41% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, by the end of the year only 9% feel they are successful in keeping them.”
Additional statistics revealed the most common reasons why resolutions were not kept throughout the year. It states “35% of participants who failed their New Year’s Resolutions said they had unrealistic goals, 33% of participants who failed didn’t keep track of their progress, and 23% of people forgot about their resolutions” (Happy Habits, 2021).
So, what is best way to incorporate healthier habits into your daily routine?
Give yourself leniency: Changing any long-term habit takes a long time to accomplish. Go easy on yourself. Life is unpredictable and full of unexpected instances that can hinder your progress.
Set small attainable intentions: Being mindful about your habits is a wonderful way to engage yourself in behaviors you may not be aware of. Notice your decisions throughout the day and incorporate small changes. If you are someone who procrastinates, try doing that task as soon as you get the time instead of waiting until you are ready.
Keep a journal: Write down steps you took today that helped your new intention come to fruition. It can be hard to notice your progress one day at a time. Tracking these small instances add up once you read back on them!
Celebrate yourself: If you had an entire week of being mindful about your decisions, celebrate it! Give yourself the recognition you deserve, it is not as easy as it sounds!
Remember that the goals and intentions you set are a part of a bigger picture. Rome was not built in a day and the goals you set will not be achieved in one either. Trust the process and give yourself permission to take a break when needed.
Happy New Year!
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2 thoughts on “A little intention lends to a lot of progress.”
Small habits work for me. They don’t trigger fear of the task, and they make anything seem achievable. Thanks for this post!
Thank you for reading!!