Instead of the usual and mostly unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions to go on a crash diet, eat healthily all day every day, gym everyday, run a marathon, completely stop drinking or smoking on January 1st, (among a long list of others) a more effective option could be to make some small, short- term but long lasting and less extreme resolutions.
Some people may achieve their resolutions, but for most, they will have given up by February.
Here are a few to try this year to ease the pressure.
- Buy a Journal
There are many benefits to having a journal and using your journal. It can be a safe space to write down any feelings and thoughts you have. It’s also ideal for writing down goals or plans for the future. It’s a stepping stone for those who may not know exactly what their goals are, but getting a journal allows you to figure it out when you release thoughts and feelings. It’s also a satisfying way to track goals and achievements when you look back and see what was originally written down.
- Make intentions instead of goals
Having big goals and resolutions are great for the future but usually to get to that point, a number of small steps have to be taken first, each one building up to your ultimate goal. Therefore make smaller intentions perhaps every week or month to remind yourself of the progress made, ultimately to reach the end result. This is likely to keep motivation and consistency high, rather than not seeing the end result right away.
You don’t have to go straight into a 30-minute meditation. Start off with two minutes, then three, then five and build your way up. Meditation is a great way to relax and clear your mind and thoughts. There are many benefits to meditation including reducing negative emotions, increasing self awareness, gaining perspective on stressful situations and also the fact it’s just a time to focus on yourself.
- Try shorter challenges
If your goal is to go to the gym every single day forever, this is likely to not happen for most. Therefore, try a shorter gym challenge. A 30 day challenge which holds you accountable for a short amount of time is more sustainable than a 365 day challenge. It will also be rewarding at the end of the 30 days and you can take a rest without feeling bad about it.
- Find out your interests
Instead of making a goal to read more when you already know you don’t enjoy reading, take the time to try out new things and find out what you’re really interested in. You don’t have to enjoy certain things just because it seems to be what everyone else enjoys. Find what makes you happy.
- Make a bucket list
Instead of making a list that has to be done in a certain amount of time, make a fun bucket list that you can tick off whenever you want, with no time limit and no pressure. It’s simply a list of places you want to go, experiences you want to have, food you want to eat and when you do it, you can just tick it off.
- Get a piggy bank
Save money and get rich. This goal is broad and not specific. How are you going to get rich? In January you may not go out and spend money but what about February, March and the rest of the months in the year. Instead, get a piggy bank or open up a small savings account. Put away any spare or loose change and in December you are more likely to have more savings from this than trying to not spend money ever again.
- Spend time away from your phone
This one may be cliche but start small. Instead of locking your phone away for half the day, try an hour, each day with no phone and see what you can accomplish. Spend this time maybe finding what your passion is without the distractions of a text message or scrolling for hours on TikTok.
- Be kind to yourself
Even if you don’t want to make any New Year’s goals or resolutions, remember to be kind to yourself. Do what’s best for you and what makes you happy. The New Year is a new start for everyone no matter what way they want to do it.