“New year, new me.”
We have all heard or said that. Most of us have brimming positivity at the beginning of a new year and imagine the next year as a springboard to be a better version of ourselves.
"I will quit smoking."
"I will cut down on my drinking."
"I will save more money."
"I will start exercising more."
"I will reduce my consumption of junk food."
"I will spend less time on social media."
Our intentions are pure when we make these new year's resolutions but by the 3rd or 4th of January, most of us are back to square one. Broke and hungover, smoking a ten-pack every day, lazying around on the couch watching TV while munching on some burger and fries or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Don’t get me wrong. There are many who make resolutions and stick to them but according to the time management firm FranklinCovey, one-third of resolutioners don’t make it past the end of January. Upon coming across this statistic and after repeated failed attempts at New Year resolutions, I did some research and introspection.
The first thing I learned is to make resolutions that are attainable. We wrong our own selves when we expect some drastic change from ourselves magically as the calendar turns to a new year. Upon failing to magically change ourselves within a few days, we start feeling guilty about having failed to stick to our resolutions. This results in more self-damaging behavior. So the trick is to make resolutions that are realistic and doable for you.
The next thing that I have observed is how important it is to make a specific resolution. For example, a resolution like “I want to lose weight” is vague. “I will lose 10 kgs by 30th March 2023” is specific, time-bound, and most importantly measurable. Another similar example would be alloting 15 minutes everyday, say from 9 am-9:15 am, to browse and catch up on social media and not open the app for the rest of the day.
One more important thing to consider while making resolutions is to ask yourself the 'why' question, which is essentially the reason behind setting your goal. Am I doing it because society wants me to because it is a change I want to see in myself? Only if we make a resolution born out of our own sensibility and not societal expectations, we can succeed.
With all these insights in mind, it is worth noting that we should not be too hard on ourselves if we can’t stick to our resolutions. The pandemic has shown the entire world exactly how unpredictable and chaotic our worlds can be. We might plan years ahead but in the blink of an eye, things can change drastically. Even during such uncertain times, resolutions can be a beautiful thing, and the feeling of accomplishment when you fulfill your resolution, is ever so sweet.