Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions and Make Change Now
By Madelyn Collins
Pursuing a journalism and electronic media major at the University of Tennessee. Teach and perform dance on the side as a living.
People are starting to encourage others to stop making New Year’s Resolutions. Read below to understand why.
As 2018 ends, people are thinking about what their New Year’s Resolution will be. A New Year’s resolution is a promise made to oneself about a goal or change they desire in their life. When the New Year starts, the mission is to fulfill their goal by the end of that year. According to research, this rarely ever happens. The University of Scranton conducted a study that found only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution. Typically, within 6 weeks into the New Year, 80% of resolutions are broken.
Why are people poor at keeping their resolutions?
Erin Falconer, a lifestyle coach and author of Rock Star Productivity: Time Management Tips, Leadership Skills, and Other Keys to Self Improvement, attributed the failure to self-guilt. Falconer says the problem is people tell themselves what they ‘should’ change. In her interview with Business Insider, she explains using the word ‘should’ is “giving yourself an excuse simply by saying you "should" do something, rather than you "will" do something.” Using ‘should’ establishes a possibility there is a chance for failure.
One solution to this problem comes from Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D., a writer from Psychology Today. She discourages resolutions. She thinks setting intentions every day is more effective. To recognize “each day as an opportunity for a new beginning, giving yourself the option to awaken each day and live that day mindfully.”
Common New Year’s Resolutions
In 2018 YouGov collected common answers to the question, “Which of the following are you planning to include among your New Year’s Resolutions?” Here a few tips on how you can begin achieving these resolutions today!
Whether it is for health reasons or maintaining weight, choosing nutritious food options is key to living a long, healthy life. So why wait until January? Start now!
WebMD is a great source to learn facts to help your body. Here are a few tips they give on making healthy eating a habit!
Sneak vegetables onto the plate!
When eating out or making dinner, put some type of healthy vegetable on the plate! If fries are the go-to side when ordering out, switch it up with steamed broccoli or a salad. Putting at least one healthy item on the plate is a step in the right direction!
Use a smaller dish!
Portioning meals is beneficial to eat healthier. People will continue to eat food even after they are not hungry anymore. Using a smaller plate or bowl will encourage eating the satisfying amount.
Limit food porn!
Food porn videos, blogs, and TV shows are everywhere! WebMD cautions to stay away. Watching videos of super unhealthy foods can increase cravings for these foods. It is better to look at this type of content after a meal or not at all!
“Get more exercise”
Exercise is critical to living a healthy life! It decreases the chances of diseases and people are happier! While working out is essential for feeling well, going to the gym every day can be a tough habit to start. The American Heart Association encourages doing physical activity every day without a gym membership. Here are a few of their suggestions.
Take a trip to the mall.
Window shopping! Walking in stores is a fun way to increase blood flow!
Walk your dog.
Taking a stroll or run with a furry friend is a perfect cardiovascular activity. Your body and dog will thank you!
Netflix and Move
Binge watching can be fun, but it is also a great trap for being a couch potato! Next time when your favorite show is on hop up! Do some light stretches or yoga! Run in place! Just do anything except sit down.
“Save (more) money”
Knowing how to save money is a critical life skill. Saving money now is better than waiting to save money until the New Year. Here are some ideas to start!
Don’t buy that $4.95 Venti Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks every day, put that money you would use in a savings account! If you did every day of December, you would have over $150 dollars!
Let’s say you spend around $20 every day on eating out. Relocate that $20 every day to your piggy bank. By December 31st, you would have over $600!
Keep putting $20 away every day plus every day next year. By January 2020 you would have almost $8,000 dollars saved up!
So why wait until New Year’s to save? Start saving now!
“Focus on self-care”
To focus on self-care, try out mindfulness training. According to mindbodygreen, a popular health site, mindfulness is the secret to effective self-care. “…the benefits of your self-care routine will be amplified, and you’ll see a boost in your mood as well.”
A great place to start practicing mindfulness is to download the free app, Headspace. It is a meditation app that comes with easy-to-use packs centered on mindfulness. The basic mindfulness packs the app offers has an option to do 5, 10, and 15-minute sessions. Beginning your self-care journey can be as easy as taking 5 minutes out of the day to use the app!
Does reading make you smarter? A study by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education thinks so. In their study, participants with higher literacy rates had increased vocabulary, general knowledge, and verbal skills. Reading is a great goal to have, so try a few of these ideas Neil Pasricha wrote in the Harvard Business Review on making reading a habit!
Put a book in the most frequented part of the house.
If your bed is your favorite place to chill, put a book on the pillow! It will motivate you to pick up the book!
Replace the TV.
If you’re super committed to read a ton more books, move the TV or laptop out of your room then replace it with a bookshelf! Replacing your usual form of entertainment with books is a great for making reading into a habit!
There are 31 days left in the year. That’s 31 days to start achieving your goals before the New Year!