Changing Up New Year’s Resolutions
The usual resolutions, such as, losing weight, quitting smoking, saving more money, or drinking less alcohol are often ineffective. Studies show less than 25% of people stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only about 8% accomplish them per year. These statistics for the typical New Year’s resolutions are grim to say the least. Thus, changing up New Year’s resolutions to focus more on behavior modification than results may be the ticket to success. Follow along for some tips to create better, healthier, more obtainable resolutions for the upcoming year.
Behavior Modification vs. Results
When you base your New Year’s resolution on a desired result, you may not be thinking of the steps it will take to actually get there. People love to fall in love with the idea of grand change. However, we forget change takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Often, when we hit the first road block, failure is assumed. Once we feel like we have failed, we tend to give up the whole path entirely instead of recouping and trying again. Therefore, it is better to make resolutions based on healthy behavior modification rather than desired results. For example, instead of saying ‘I will lose 20 pounds this year’, try to commit to eating three servings of vegetables each day. Developing healthier eating habits will be more beneficial for you in the long run. Furthermore, you will be taking the first step to change your health at a more fundamental level.
Ultimately, focusing on behavior modification helps us to develop healthier habits that can last a lifetime, rather than create unrealistic short term goals. Start with small behavior modifications, something you can realistically commit to. After all, big changes start small. You may still have days or weeks where you fail to modify your behavior. Try to look at these failures as lessons and don’t give up on your desire to change. Moreover, use what you have learned along the way and adjust your goals as needed. Your original expectation or vision may evolve and grow into something completely different, and that is okay! It is important to be flexible and able to compromise as your journey provides new information and obstacles.
Better, Healthier Resolutions to Work on This Year
First, be kind to yourself. A good way to start being kinder to yourself is to take 10 minutes for yourself every morning before you reach for your phone or start checking emails. Perhaps you will drink your coffee and read for pleasure, or you could lie in bed and take note of the things you are grateful for. Whatever self-care means to you, be sure to make it a priority for at least 10 minutes a day. Another way to be kinder to yourself is to stop negative self-talk. Research shows engaging in and hearing negative self-talk is associated with lower self-esteem in both men and women. Instead, actively engage in positive self-talk. Mindfully pinpoint the things you love about yourself and repeat these things to yourself daily.
Next, make sleep a priority. Getting enough rest is crucial to feeling your best. Lack of sleep may increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression. Start with trying to go to sleep an hour earlier; it may help to decrease your screen time before bed.
On the other hand, when you are awake, make the resolution to sit less and move more. This is a great resolution that can be tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit all day, try to go for a 15 minute walk at lunch or get up and move around for 5 minutes every hour. Finding a physical activity you actually enjoy can also help increase your movement. If you try to force yourself into doing a physical activity you hate, it is likely you won’t stick with it for long. Instead, experiment with different ways of moving your body until you find something you actually enjoy.
Lastly, you can change up your New Year’s resolution to learn more about mental health. While a lot of traditional resolutions focus on physical health, taking care of your mental health is equally important. Even though most people view therapy as a treatment option, the truth is anyone can benefit from seeing a therapist regardless of your mental state.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Therapy provides a safe space for you to explore your mental health and develop skills to better take care of yourself. Chriselda Santos, a licensed psychotherapist, believes in focusing on your strengths and capabilities to foster healthy change and development. Utilizing multiple different therapy techniques, Chriselda is able to tailor a therapy experience that is unique to you. If you would like to prioritize your mental health this year, visit Chriselda’s website to learn more.