New Year, New You: The Power of Resolutions
It’s no secret that most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions. By the time February rolls around, all those dieting fads and workout plans derail into eating sugary carbs in front of the television. As the years go by, there’s been a growing consensus that New Year’s resolutions are virtually pointless and doomed to fail. It sounds grim, we know!
But while it’s true that not all resolutions stick around, many do—especially if you’re willing to put in the work to keep them going. In fact, resolutions serve many purposes, even if you don’t keep them. Here’s why even the act of making a New Year’s resolution is a good step toward becoming a better person.
Something is better than nothing
Many assume New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time because most people give up on them. But working to better yourself is never a waste of time! It doesn’t matter if your motivation wanes halfway through January—what matters is that you put in effort. If your new workout regimen lasts only three weeks, that’s three weeks more than someone who didn’t create a New Year’s resolution.
Resolutions aren’t always about sticking to a new diet or cutting back on screen time. The most important thing about resolutions is they help you begin the New Year with a positive mindset. Setting positive intentions for the year switches your focus from what you’re not doing to what you can do. This will help you develop the go-getter attitude that’s necessary to hit your goals.
People with hope for the future are more likely to make their desired outcomes a reality. For example, those who believe in their ability to run a marathon will actively work towards that goal. You can change for the better, but only if you believe that change is possible! Even if you don’t end up running a marathon, your chances were much greater because you believed it could happen.
Focus on the potential awaiting you
New Year’s Day is the perfect time to set resolutions because the year ahead is a clean slate. Sure, January 1st is no different than the other 364 days. However, the start of a new year can feel like hitting the reset button. Nothing’s happened yet, and the potential is exhilarating. A New Year’s resolution empowers you to turn each day into whatever you want. Not all days will be filled with sunshine and rainbows, but a resolution will remind you there’s always tomorrow.
Resolutions teach us it’s never too late to get back on the right path. Let’s say you go a full month without exercising or indulge in too many cheat days on your diet. Too many people believe if they slip even a little bit, that it’s all over. There’s no rule that says you can’t resume your New Year’s resolution in November. Breaking a resolution is par for the course—stand up, dust yourself off and make the most of those remaining days and months!
Take stock of where you’re at
The first step towards self-improvement is acknowledging that you want to change. A New Year’s resolution helps you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can form an idea of the type of person you want to become. Resolutions force individuals to take an honest look at themselves and realize what needs improvement.
Resolutions show where you’re at in your journey, but they also reveal how far you stand from the end goal. Once you learn how far away your goal is, you can formulate measurable steps to get you there. Creating a plan of action makes your goal more attainable and establishes reasonable expectations for yourself.
Impact loved ones and the community
New Year’s resolutions can motivate you to make positive changes for the greater good. People are quick to give up on their resolutions because they affect nobody but themselves. But when friends and family are involved, we feel a sense of duty to commit to our resolutions. Perhaps you’ve resolved to spend more time with loved ones or show up when they need your help. The important people in your life can hold you accountable for your actions.
Good deeds create a positive feedback loop. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces will motivate you to stick with resolutions that involve loved ones or community members. Acts of kindness make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which makes it that much easier to see New Year’s resolutions all the way through to December.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, it really is the thought that counts. Take pride in the fact that you want to become a better person. If you fall short of your goals, don’t take it as a failure. Instead, celebrate all the progress you made along the way.
And, who says you have to wait until January to make resolutions? When you want something, get up and get after it!