Did you know that the top New Year’s resolution for most people in the U.S, year after year, is “lose weight?”
Some people make New Year’s resolutions, other laugh at them. If you search online, you can find lots of jokes about New Year’s resolutions. But I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making them.
Critics say they’re empty and useless – that most people make them, but never follow through, which ultimately makes them feel even worse than before.
I disagree. I think that New Year’s resolutions CAN be useless and often are. I also think that when New Year’s resolutions are done in a meaningful way, they can be a wonderful self-improvement tool.
To make New Year’s resolutions that stick, I usually try to make just one resolution each year, then break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and follow up every couple of months to see how I’m doing. So, if my goal is to complain less, I might start with “limit my nagging and complaining to no more than once a day,” then once I accomplish that goal, move on to the next of, say, whining just once a week! (My husband must be feeling hopeful right now).
Back to the most popular New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Of course people don’t stick with it! It’s far too vague. By breaking it down into smaller chunks and focusing on just this resolution instead of on five others, you stand a much better chance of accomplishing your goal.
You could start by specifying how much exactly you want to lose (2 pounds per month or 24 pounds in 2010); decide on specific monthly goals such as limiting your soda intake or taking the stairs at work. Whatever you do, by breaking it down and focusing on just this one goal, you’re seriously increasing your chances of making it a reality.
I’m not a self-development expert and usually stay away from self-help-type posts. But this is something that has worked for me over the past few years. I hope it will work for you too.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you keep them?
Loved this Comment: “I think the key to sticky resolutions is having a compelling ‘why’ and an effective ‘how’ to go along with the ‘what.'” J.D. Meier, Sources of Insight.