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New Year, Same “Resolutions”

Tis the season to think about some resolutions for the new year coming up. Who even knows if you’ll succeed (I know that I often don’t). Although, if you don’t let anyone know what resolutions you have made, you can tell people you followed through on your goals- right?

You have no idea how many new year's resolutions I have made that were the same from the previous year. You also have no idea how many times I have tried making a “new years resolution”. My goals sometimes end up to be an idea that I would like for myself, just not ready to actually do anything about them yet. 

This wasn’t really a resolution but I have always been curious about how many books I have read in a year. This 2023 year, I have read 10 books. I know I have read more in a year, but I liked how this year I made it a goal of mine to organize it all. For me to accomplish this, I used an app called Notion which truly helps with anything you want to keep track of or organize. In this app, I create a ratings section, title of the book, the author, the date I started and finished, and a status section. When we think about it, there was no pressure to achieve this goal. I didn’t make a goal of reading a certain amount of books. Doing something like this helps with the pressure, in this case, there wasn’t any. 

With it being a new year, we always want to have a better mindset. Then that mindset somehow vanishes a couple months in. We somehow feel pressure coming towards us, but these resolutions are only for us, not for others. 

If you’re like me, you might make yourself feel bad about the low motivation you may have. But like I just mentioned and what is always important to reiterate, these goals are just for you. You don’t need to share them. Keep them simple. This year I think I want to work more on changing my mindset. This ideology works perfectly for this blog. If you feel the same, there is no harm in further reading (even if you don’t feel the same) :). 

What’s The Point of Resolutions?

New Year resolutions seem like they can “add” benefits into your life and the new year. But how- and do they really? Honestly, it could depend on your mindset. 

New years come with the feeling of having a blank slate. Therefore, people assume that creating resolutions can help with that. Each new year we have the mindset that we can start “fresh”. Some may feel like they can have their chance of “starting fresh” when they felt like they didn’t have that opportunity last year or the beginning of this current year. 

Having the thought of being able to “start fresh” can empower us. Each year I feel like I can become a new person in a way. I set these goals thinking I’m going to follow through with them. For example, eating a lot better, working out consistently, being more organized, and so on. Spoiler alert, I’m not always so successful with my own resolutions. 

Why Do We Break Our Resolutions?

Good question. Because why not. No, but really- we put too much pressure on ourselves. We might feel the need to create this big goal without having to practice it on the occasion before we set them. Starting from zero percent and going to 100% is not so easy. Our goals may be too big and desired, to truly think about the work and the mindset to follow through. 

How Can We Keep Our Resolutions?

Also a good question. Make them realistic. It could help to start small and to not overreach. This way starting from zero% and slowly increasing the percentage may be easier than reaching for 100%. 

If we consider the common resolution of eating better, we can make it into a smaller goal. For example, adding at least one fruit or vegetable to your meal is better than making the goal of having the correct amount of servings in a day. Let's be real, we can’t always follow that. It’s ok to have an off day every now and then. 

Ideas of Resolutions to Try

Similar to the fruit and vegetable example above, there is always a way to make a goal easier to accomplish. 

Some further ideas could be:

  • Instead of going to the gym 5 days a week, you can try working out while watching a  workout video twice a week at home 

  • You want to move your body more? Maybe go on a 10 minute walk once a day. 

  • If you wish to eat better, sometimes it’s good to create grocery lists and to follow them. Also, I would recommend not going grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Trust me, I’ve been there. 

  • Are you interested in reading? Make a “goal” of it. Just like what I did, you can create a list instead of having a set number of books you want to read. 

  • Thinking about wanting to organize more? Make a plan and think of organizing at least one thing a month or even week. 

Keep in mind that these goals are for you so they should work with you too. Make a plan that works with your schedule and you should be able to keep to it with the right mindset. 

Overall Message

If you get something out of this, just have it be this- Quitter’s Day. Quitter’s Day is the second Friday in January. Most resolutions fail by mid-March. If you really want to stick to your resolution, I wish you good luck. If you end up not being able to keep up with your goal till the end of the next year, you can try again for that next New Year (and again after that). But, keep a realistic mindset and start small. Remember, there is no pressure and these goals are just for you, not for others. Also, don’t forget that some progress is still good progress. All in all, Happy New Year!!

Written by,

Eliana Cohn, LSW



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