By Danaé Reid
According to History.com, “Change” has been the fragrance of the New Year since the Babylonians created New Years resolutions and New Years Eve celebrations some 4,000 years ago.
However, like perfume, the scent of change, (under the guise of New Year’s resolutions), quickly fades away.
According to Nuvance Health, research shows that while 50% of people make resolutions, while only about 10% keep them.
As a person who has fallen into that 10% category many times in my almost 25 years of living, a few years back when I found out the disparities between how many of us make versus keep our resolutions, I decided to do something different.
In my personal opinion, I feel that the idea that we need to wait for a big event to make changes/adopt new habits is flawed and needs to be thrown out. But aside from my personal qualms in that regard, I believe that the term “New Years resolution” within itself carries too much pressure starting as soon as the clock ticks midnight.
So instead of setting New Year’s resolutions for myself, I started making lists of goals for the entire year, written in the form of affirmations. I’ve found this method to be more realistic and also made things easier to attain.
In this article, I will take the most common New Year’s resolutions and turn them into affirmations/intentions that may be a bit easier for you to stick to.
1. Exercise more – I am going to try to dedicate at least a half-hour each day to working out and I will make a list of exercises that I enjoy doing so that getting fit does not feel like a chore.
2. Lose weight – I am going to actively work on changing my eating habits and drinking more water so that I can achieve a healthy weight. I will write down what my goal weight is and I will make a plan on how I can achieve that in a way that is not detrimental to me or my health.
3. Get organized – I will dedicate time daily to making sure that my things are in order. I will purchase cute bins that will help me keep things in order and will dedicate a place/spot for all of my possessions. I will purchase a notebook/planner to make this an easier feat.
4. Learn a new skill or hobby – I want to try a lot of different things to see what I like I would add to my life as a skill/hobby that relaxes me.
5. Live life to the fullest – I am making lists of things I’d like to do to make my life feel full. I know what’s on my “bucket list” and would like to check a few things off this year. For example, if I see a coupon for bungee jumping and that’s what I want to do, I am going to do it!
6. Spend less money/save more money – I am creating a realistic, healthy monthly budget for myself that includes necessities and other activities and I will do whatever I can to abide by the parameters I set for myself. I understand that the budget can be adjusted accordingly, but I will be wiser with my money in doing so.
7. Spend more time with family– I am including nonnegotiable family time as a standing part of my calendar and will do my best not schedule anything on those days. However, if something does happen to come up and I absolutely cannot make it, I will reschedule with them. I will also put a reminder in my phone to call my loved ones weekly/biweekly/monthly.
8. Read more– I will make a realistic list of books that I’d like to read throughout the years and I will try to tackle all of them, while also making sure that I am reading to retain and learn, not just reading for the sake of reading.
This list only notes a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but if you don’t see yours on this list, the formula for changing yours is simple.
Be kinder to yourself and instead of just saying “I will do this,” give yourself some methods on how you can easily achieve that goal.
I hope this helps, and Happy Belated New Year!