By now I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “new year, new me”. In fact, during the past few years it’s become quite the cliche as the punchline to various online memes. However there are some people out there who genuinely want to apply this phrase to their coming years.
One thing always comes to mind when this is brought up – what was so wrong with the “old you” that you find the need to completely revamp yourself as a new person? New Year’s resolutions can be great excuses to start fresh lifestyle choices, but I don’t think they should be centred around being a new person. We should strive to improve our current selves, past mistakes and all.
I like to think of New Year’s resolutions as being annual reality checks. It’s a time when we can reflect on things that did or didn’t work for us in the previous year and look towards improvement and growth for the coming year. In order to actually apply these resolutions, and to help them last longer than a few weeks, there are some things you should think of first:
1. Set realistic goals
Instead of having major goals that might be difficult to achieve, make sure your resolutions remain attainable. Don’t set yourself up for failure with huge lifestyle changes that you’ll soon lose motivation for. For example, instead of going from eating meat/animal products to an entirely plant-based diet right away, opt for vegetarianism or start by cutting out certain meats. Instead of promising yourself to work out every day, choose specific days to start and build from there. Drastic lifestyle changes are much harder to stick with than gradual improvements.
2. Know your limits
It might seem like a great time to tackle a healthier diet, decrease your environmental footprint, focus on sustainable purchasing while working out daily and making more time for friends/family, but the truth is you should really only focus on one major change at a time. You’ll have a better chance at lasting results than if you try to change everything all at once. Don’t take on more than you can handle.
3. Don’t be afraid of failure
Maybe you promised yourself no more junk food but in a moment of weakness you indulged in one (or five) too many slices of pizza. Now your entire resolution is blown so you should just give up, right?
I’m notorious for this. Once I find myself going against my healthy eating plan I figure there’s no point in trying again and forget it.
It’s important to remember that slip-ups happen and they shouldn’t mean giving up your resolution altogether. So what, you had a busy week at work and don’t have the time or energy to get to the gym? There’s always tomorrow.