With the arrival of 2016, many of us engage in that age-old tradition in which we promise ourselves to act on a litany of New Year’s resolutions.
It’s no surprise that many of these resolutions appear familiar to us. They frequently consist of the same promises we made to ourselves last year.
It’s not necessarily that we’re insincere in our commitment to change, it’s just that self-improvement requires constant attention and motivation.
Speaking for myself, the older I get the harder it seems to stay dedicated to long-term change despite my best intentions. But age isn’t the only factor in keeping one’s eye on the objective.
I would guess that the more common New Year’s resolutions that people make include partaking in activities to improve one’s physical well-being, including exercising more, eating healthier and losing weight, striving to be more positive in one’s outlook, and being more organized and managing one’s time better.
Resolving to get out of debt and save money are certainly positive goals, as is getting a better education, improving school grades or learning something new; even establishing a business or making a commitment to change jobs.
Volunteering is a civic virtue and a good way to improve social skills and make new friends in the community. Making a decision to help others is an altruistic goal that should be at the top of our resolution list.
Many people want to eliminate bad habits like smoking — or they commit to drinking less alcohol; to reduce public cursing or arguing less with others, or simply to stop biting their fingernails in public.
The resolutions we make to improve and enhance our lives span the gamut — from trivial to grandiose. The difficult part is staying on track to make those goals a reality and a permanent part of our lifestyle.
Self-improvement is really a never-ending struggle, but it can contribute to enjoying life more and ultimately reducing stress.
Making New Year’s resolutions stick can seem a daunting task when trying to break lifelong habits.
According to the American Psychological Association, perfection is unattainable, and that minor missteps when reaching for your goals are completely normal.
It’s vital to keep in mind that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a milestone for extensive character adjustments. It is a time to reflect on one’s present behaviors and to make positive lifestyle changes by setting attainable goals throughout the coming years.
The key to achieving success is to not give up.