With 2020 rapidly approaching, millions of people have already started thinking of what they want to accomplish over the following year.
Many of us, including myself, try to brainstorm an answer to the question: What Is The Best New Year’s Resolution?
But what actually is a resolution?
Well, Google defines resolutions as being a firm decision to do or not do something. This can mean different things depending on the context you read it in.
Whether you are reading this on New Year’s Eve with your friends and family, or quite frankly, at any point in the year, I promise that following these tips will allow for self improvement and happiness.
Such a broad question can also more often than not lead us to create poor resolutions.
These are the ones that we end up forgetting after a few weeks, fail to achieve because they are not realistic, or simply don’t care enough about!
Before this happens to you again this year, continue reading to learn how you can form the perfect resolutions.
Let’s first look at the Top 10 Resolutions in New York for 2019:
1. Diet or eat healthier
This seems to be one of the typical trends year in and year out. With the food quality in society nowadays, the amount of overweight or obese people has grown significantly.
There are far too many fast and convenient options that make it extremely difficult to follow.
With that being said, this is also one of the most commonly broken resolutions as well. Now moving on to number 2…
2. Exercise more
Sticking with the popular trends here, exercising has a key link to dieting and eating healthier. You would think that people wouldn’t have to make this resolution each year if they just stuck with it the first time.
But, unfortunately, that is not the case. Prioritizing exercise over everything else (family, friends, socializing) is a common theme that turns out to be unsustainable in the end.
3. Lose weight
This one directly links to the first two resolutions. Look at the top three so far and compare them to each other. What do you notice?
They are ALL related to each other! Most people think of their physical characteristics when forming a new year’s resolution as they want to get back in shape and have time over their holidays coming up with the “perfect workout plan” or the “best diet” to do so.
But, these are typically the SAME people that choose one of the variations out of the top three every single year! WHY?
The answer is obvious… they decide on a resolution but never create an effective, long-term plan to actually reach their goals.
Later on in this article, I will teach you some of the best ways to form a solid set of resolutions.
4. Save more and spend less
Coming in at number four is a pretty obvious resolution considering many people have just spent a ton of their disposable income over the holidays.
The new year seems like a new opportunity to begin saving money for the long haul. You can be the judge on how this one typically ends up!
5. Learn a new skill or hobby
At the halfway point of this list is a resolution that is a little less typical. There are many new skills to learn or ways to find new hobbies.
Some people may choose to learn skills they can apply to their job, maybe a new talent, or even a new language in case they travel to another country (hopefully these aren’t the people that said they want to save more though).
6. Quit smoking
I knew you were waiting for this one. Did you know that over 34 million citizens in the United States smoke? That is almost the entire population of Canada alone!
With that ridiculously high number, it is no wonder that quitting smoking made this list. I’m just surprised that it isn’t higher up.
7. Read more
Reading more? This can’t be true! Well, I promise you it’s a fact. In my personal opinion, I think this is a very good resolution that can be reached if a plan is in place.
Reading also helps to dramatically expand your knowledge and strengthen your vocabulary (if you have made it this far in the article I don’t think you need to include this one).
8. Find another job
While this may seem like a popular complaint from most people, especially those with an office job, many are actually happy with their current positions.
However, there will always be the complainers out there. Maybe you should be spending your time searching for a new job instead of reading this… just kidding… please don’t stop!
9. Drink less alcohol
I am just going to hope that you didn’t stumble upon this article while drinking at your new year’s party. But if you did, this one’s for you.
Put down the alcohol and opt for a crystal clear glass of ice cold water instead. Trust me, you’ll be thanking me in the morning!
10. Spend more time with family and friends
Why did it take this long to get this resolution? Maybe because you probably want to escape family and friends at this point in the holidays.
Nonetheless, this one should be near the top of everyone’s list. Spending quality time with family and friends is essential to living a happy life and even has some health benefits as well.
This could help you reach those first few goals at the top of this list.
Now that you got a sample of what the typical and most popular New Year’s resolutions are, it’s time to create your own perfect list. Below are some of the best tips for designing resolutions you can actually follow.
Smaller is Better
Stop trying to come up with the perfect resolution that is going to drastically change your life. You need to start with smaller resolutions that are actually achievable.
While having a greater end goal and vision is key, it will be much harder to reach if you don’t take the small steps necessary to get there.
If improving your fitness and overall physique is what you want, break this up into smaller goals that are much easier to follow.
How Can You Do This?
Make a schedule. This doesn’t have to be complex or difficult at all. Simply write down where you want to be by the end of the year and begin breaking it up by dividing your overall goal into smaller sections.
You could say that you would like to work out at the gym at least 2-3 times a week. Some of you might be thinking you want to go every day to get there faster, but in the long run, you are much more likely to fail.
If dieting is included in this resolution, you could cut back by a certain amount of whatever foods you are trying to avoid each month and steadily increase that amount over time.
This will yield better results rather than a complete overhaul of your diet that only lasts a few days because you weren’t prepared for this sudden change
You may have heard of this acronym before, but probably not when making resolutions for the new year. Although you don’t have to follow it to an exact measure, remembering the SMART goal formula will help you along the way.
It simply stands for 5 things:
Specific: When making a resolution, it should be concise and clear. EXACTLY WHAT do you want to accomplish. Remember the “smaller is better rule” here. This will make it much easier to keep specific.
Measurable: This goes hand and hand with what I mentioned above. A measurable goal is one that you can easily track and evaluate at any point in time. This could be daily, weekly, or even monthly depending on the resolution.
Achievable: Can you achieve your goal by following the plan? If your resolution is to lose 50 pounds in one month, you might want to re-evaluate the time frame for for your plan. It is better to make your goal more achievable rather causing disappointment from failure
Relevant: I’ll talk about more on this in a minute, but, make sure the resolution is relevant to you and not created through the influence of other people. Remember that you are your own person and are allowed to do whatever you choose (as long as nobody else is being harmed in the process).
Time-Bound: As I just mentioned, you can make a schedule to ensure that you are always on track. If you want your resolution to last forever, build at it slowly and increase your goal over time.
Celebrate The Little Moments
After you reach each small goal, immediately reward yourself with a small celebration for your success. This will motivate you to continue following the plan as you’ll see the changes happening and realize it won’t be as hard as you think.
Feel free to pull out that cookie jar you have been hiding for a few months now. Just don’t forget to put it back when you’re done.
Make Your Resolutions Public
There is nothing more embarrassing than rambling on to everyone about how you are going to accomplish these great things and then failing to do any of them.
So what better motivation than to do exactly this. Find all the people’s opinions you care about and tell them what your goals are. Even if they aren’t listening continue to tell them.
When you are on the verge of going off plan, you’ll remember that it’s going to be extremely embarrassing when everyone finds out you weren’t able to reach any of your goals.
I guarantee you that this will push you to continue on the right path and reach your end results, or even surpass them.
Choose Resolutions You Are Actually Passionate About
This one may seem obvious at first, but many people just make up resolutions for the sake of doing so. If this sounds like you, STOP!
Find things you actually want to change in your life and design your list of resolutions around this.
They might seem stupid or not really like proper resolutions, but the truth is that there is no stupid resolution if you genuinely care about the issue.
Following this golden rule will allow you to stay more focused on your goal.
If you are struggling to come up with an idea, here is a list of 10 less common resolutions to get you started:
- Donate belongings you don’t have a need for anymore
- Volunteer in your community or at your local charity
- Clean your devices and sanitize them at least once a week
- Go to bed earlier and get more sleep each night
- Meditate more often to clear your mind
- Stop procrastinating with simple tasks
- Meet new people
- Adopt a pet from the local shelter
- Learn to cook new recipes
- Become more creative through writing or art pieces
Read that again. Stay Positive. Believe in Yourself. There is no point in creating resolutions if you simply don’t believe in yourself that you can do it. You must remember that following a plan will have its ups as well its downs.
If you manage to stay positive and understand that low points or mistakes are okay, you are guaranteed to succeed in the long run.
An easy way to stay positive is by adhering to all the above tips as they were hand-picked for you due to their high success rates.
The key is to never give up and understand that there is no BEST resolution or PERFECT list. They are all dependent on your individual character and willingness to do what it takes to reach your goals.
Also, remember that nobody is forcing you to make a concrete set of resolutions each year. You are more than welcome to make a list that changes and is flexible depending on your circumstances.
The important part is that you find ways to positively change your life, or someone else’s life.
By doing this, the rewards will make you feel way better about yourself and could help others as well.