Almost everyone makes them, but almost no one can stick to them. Myself included, for the last years i have been consistently making new years resolutions, some have turned out great and some have failed miserably.
The biggest mistake is that people tend to make overblown goals that require a complete change of their habits. Habits which were obtained over many years are not that easy to break, just with the beginning of a new year. For example, someone who never exercises makes the resolution to go to the gym 4 times a week. The drastic change increases the likelihood of failure extensively. The trick is to lower the level of success so the goal is achievable which leads to better adherence in the long term.
My recommendation about creating successful new year resolutions is to start small and try to modify an already existing habit like eating food when you are hungry. Instead of eating a cookie, you eat something healthy like some nuts. Habits are based on a trigger signal. If you can change the Action to the trigger you can rewire your brain and therefore change a habit.
There is one big exception to this. And that’s when you are dealing with addiction. I used to smoke cigarettes for more than 5 years consistently. At the peak when I was in the military I smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day. I made it my new year resolution to stop 2 consecutive years in a row and it never worked out.
In 2015 I again made the effort to try to stop smoking. Knowing of my past failures I decided to not stop on the first of January but a month earlier on the first of December. In the process of quitting I read the book “The Easyway” by Allen Carr. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with smoking. Since December 1. 2015, I am officially a non-smoker.
In 2016 I made the resolution to read more. I used to hate reading books of any kind. I bought a kindle and started small, I set the barrier to success to 1 hour a week. Now one year later, I have built the habit of reading every night before I go to sleep and it has become my favorite activity to relax. The books I have read so far all have changed my mindset for the better and I’m excited to read many more perspective changing books in the future.
2017 is the year in which I’m writing this Post. My main resolution for this year is to write more. That’s also the reason why I started this Blog. My English writing needs a ton of improvement that I’m looking to get with more practice over the coming years of my Blogging journey.