With a new year and new lockdown upon us, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of making a resolution or two. Whether that’s trying Veganuary, promising to give up alcohol or starting a fitness challenge, resolutions require commitment.
But sometimes putting pressure on yourself to commit to something in January can do more harm than good. According to a YouGov survey, one in five (22%) Brits who made New Year’s resolutions managed to keep to them all and more than a third (37%) of 18 to 24-year-olds intend to do so. But what if you don’t? Almost 80% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions fail to achieve them and despite going into them with good intentions, we ultimately set ourselves up for failure.
So how can we avoid this and ensure that we really take care of ourselves in the new year?
Lauren Gordon, a behavioural insights advisor at Bupa UK, said the weight of expectation can be heavy around this time of year. She told Refinery29: “Often this pressure can come from ourselves. If you feel like you are sometimes your own worst enemy in putting yourself down or feeling like you are incapable of not fulfilling your potential, be kind to yourself and just focus on getting back to reality after Christmas and doing what you already do well.”
If you’re planning on, for example, cutting out sugar in the new year, Laura suggests being realistic with our goals: “Cutting sugar out entirely can make us crave it, so we end up being more prone to temptation and craving entirely. This can then lead to us berating ourselves and becoming completely demotivated.
“It’s normal to slip up, but what’s important is to be self-compassionate and forgive ourselves, so that we can re-focus.
“It is easy to give in what we call ‘present bias’, favouring short-term rewards over waiting for a payoff in the long run; even if waiting meant the result would be greater. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.
“If you do decide to set a new years resolution, think of it as a long-term lifestyle change rather than a short term fix. Eating healthily isn’t something we should just do in January of each year.”
Choose small, positive changes that can boost your confidence as well as motivate you, but most importantly, focus on your own goals.
“Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing; plan in your own personal goals, which fit your own life, in line with how you envision your ideal future and priorities or what you really want to accomplish,” she adds. “Equally, if you don’t feel like there is anything you can think of or you’re not ready to start planning it in, don’t force it.
“In reality, we can make a change in our lives any time we like, a new year is just a good catalyst for change.”
Credit: Original article published here.