5 Reasons to Make New Year’s Resolutions
Happy New Year! It’s amazing what ringing in a new year can do for the soul. It is a chance to leave behind the past and have hope for what lies ahead, to make amends, and start afresh. We have the Babylonians to thank for celebrating the start of a new year. For over 4,000 years, people have been marking the new year by making New Year’s resolutions. Though the practice has changed over time, making resolutions is deeply rooted in the global human experience.
Nearly half of Americans say they make New Year’s resolutions every year, but only about 8 percent of them say they achieve their resolutions. Not good, right? The abysmal success rate has led many people to swear off making New Year’s resolutions at all. “They don’t work” some will say, “What’s the use?” Others have decided it’s a language thing. Instead of resolutions, they say they are setting intentions or simply that they have a few goals they want to accomplish but will stop short of using the “r” word.
What does the “r” word mean?
The Oxford dictionary defines resolution as a firm decision to do or not to do something; or the quality of being determined or resolute.
Compared to intentions and goals (i.e., aims), resolutions are more declarative. Maybe that’s what trips people up and leads them to ward off resolutions altogether. I believe the problem is not in the act of making resolutions, but in the resolutions themselves and in the process used to fulfill the resolutions.
If you are one who has said goodbye to making New Year’s resolutions, it’s worth it to reconsider.
5 reasons to make New Year’s resolutions:
- Resolutions help you to create a clear vision of what you want to achieve. A resolution is a decision.
- With resolutions, you symbolically draw a line in the sand, and you are unwavering and steadfast in your determination to reach your goals. You become “gritty.”
- Resolutions require clear, tangible success markers – either you did it or you didn’t – and that helps to hold yourself accountable and become more responsible to self and others.
- Making resolutions sends signals to your brain that you have hope and optimism for the future and gives you something to look forward to and work toward. They are great for supporting mental wellbeing and cultivating a growth mindset.
- When you make resolutions, in essence you’re expressing meaning and purpose, which leads to greater wellbeing and fulfillment.
5 strategies to increase success with your New Year’s resolutions:
- Choose wisely. Make sure the resolution is reasonable and achievable within the timeframe that you’ve set and within your abilities.
- Align with your values. Ask yourself which values align with the resolution and why it’s important to you now?
- Get social. To increase your chance of success, share your resolutions with others and become a part of a community of people who are working on the same or similar goals.
- Focus on the next, smallest executable step. Break your decisions/actions into attainable milestones and focus on one success marker at a time, one step at a time.
- Keep going. The only way you’re guaranteed not to accomplish what you’ve set out to do is by quitting. Keep going. The outcome is not assured, but you’ll be further along, you’ll have learned a lot, you’ll be happier and more satisfied with your effort, and you’ll have grown.
I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for being a part of the Your Aha! Life Global Community. I am excited about what’s to come in our community this year. Not a member yet? Subscribe today and join a group of people who are committed to reaching their full potential and living their best lives now. Learn More.