Instead of just making New Year’s resolutions, we should get out and achieve them.
New Year’s resolutions are a popular tradition. They tend to revolve around doing something to improve our lifestyle.
Perhaps the resolutions are accomplishments we wish to achieve in the coming year or ways to get in better shape.
As 2013 is behind us and we are now into 2014, many people see it as a perfect time for changes because it is the start of a new year and can be a new you.
The common downfall with New Year’s resolutions is failure to actually achieve them. They sound good in theory and we probably do really want to accomplish them, but more often than not the resolutions become distant and forgotten as time passes.
We need to set more realistic goals for ourselves and make a point of working at them.
In the last days of 2013, Time magazine published an article, “Here Are the New Year’s Resolutions You Will Keep, and the Ones That You Will Break.”
It said the two most common resolutions deal with health and financial goals.
It also said it’s important to be specific. Melissa Burkley, associate professor of social psychology at Oklahoma State University, was quoted in the article by saying resolutions like losing weight or writing a novel aren’t nearly specific enough. Instead she proposed setting a goal of losing a pound a month instead of simply losing weight or writing 1,000 words per week instead of writing a novel.
“Making your resolution more concrete allows you to better monitor it. If you fall behind, you know,” she said in the article.
Other factors that lead to a failed resolution include lack of accountability, only setting goals on New Year’s Eve, forgetting not everything is in our control, choosing difficult goals like quitting smoking and relying on willpower alone.
So we should let others know about our goal, such as on Facebook or Twitter or other apps. Find a way to remind us of our goal. Focus on what we can control instead of what we can’t.
Nobody’s perfect. Goals are set but not always achieved.
If we’re not serious about trying to do our resolution or if we set an unrealistic resolution, we’re better off not setting a resolution at all.
But goal setting has been proven to increase happiness.
Burkley told Time: “I think setting goals is great and we should do it more often. Research shows setting goals can make people happier and more satisfied,” she said in the article. “And be more realistic about what’s possible and what’s not. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a challenge, but making a resolution that is too difficult to meet will only lead to breaking it.”
In 2014, let’s strive to set a realistic goal we can achieve. There is never a bad time to make a positive change in our lives.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.