As we closed out 2018 and enter the new year, our feeds become flooded with countless memories shared via IG stories. Among the endless nostalgic #TB photos posted, your feed will have no doubt been flooded with your friend’s (and your own) new year’s resolutions.
It’s a tradition as old as time, and one that has made its way across the globe. But despite its popularity, research has shown that new year’s resolutions actually fail almost 90 percent of the time, and that’s probably because changing habits is actually really hard work.
My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!
— ye (@kanyewest) October 30, 2018
If you’ve set some resolutions to achieve this new year, and want to make sure you’ll stick to them, here are some things you’ll want to avoid.
Waiting until the new year to start the process
Most people wait until the new year to actually make changes, but the process should start way ahead. Spend the weeks leading up to January thinking about your habits in order to give yourself the time to pinpoint the things you’re looking to change. And even then, the date should never be your only motivator.
It’s extremely important to cultivate realistic goals when making any kind of resolution. Whatever it is you’re setting out to do, make sure you’re aware of the steps it takes to actually get there, in order to evaluate whether or not it’s a plausible change for you to even make. Honesty with yourself is key here.
Making drastic changes to your diet
Radical diets never work! Taking up a juice cleanse is unhealthy and is unlikely to help you attain your weight goal in the long term. If you’re looking to make a dietary change, whether it’s to lose weight or for other health reasons, it’s best to get an appointment in with a nutritionist and put together a solid, and healthy plan to achieve your goal.
Having an all or nothing attitude
Swearing off all forms of social media might seem like the best move to make—and it might be since certain platforms were actually scientifically proven to be toxic. But in the same way that it’s important to make realistic goals, it’s also important to remember that a slip-up should never be seen as failure or a deterrent to continue trying. It’s all part of the process.
Putting too much pressure on yourself
It’s just never that serious. Resolutions are all about improving your life, and putting too much pressure on yourself to get things done is only going to increase your stress levels. Take it easy—the process of changing habits should be enjoyable, and open to change. If you’ve realized that swearing off Instagram is too difficult a task to accomplish, shift your focus towards being socially responsible online.
Trying to change everything at once
If you try to change every aspect of your life at once, chances are you’re not going to get anything done. It’s much easier to put your focus on a particular area and put your energy towards it rather than spreading yourself thin trying to accomplish a long list of unattainable goals.
Making vague resolutions
“Going green” might seem like a great resolution to make if you’re looking to have a positive impact on the environment—but it’s not specific enough. If you’re looking to make a real change, it’s probably better to pin point a single category and commit yourself to it. Rather than thinking of a general “Going green”, set a more specific goal of “minimizing use of plastic” for example.