Once again, it’s that time of year when we start to tie things up and look back on our biggest successes. Some of us may have a tendency to identify our defects during those reflective times and start setting grandiose goals that will be challenging to achieve in the coming year. While a new year offers opportunity for a fresh start, there is frequently great pressure to become better versions of ourselves.
The unstated norm that resolutions must be all-or-nothing extremes is regrettably still in place. We have been taught to punish ourselves when we fail at anything because of our competitive culture, which can ultimately lead to greater harm to ourselves. We may fail more often than we succeed under this pressure to perform well and meet these impossible standards. Only 8% of people who set a New Year’s resolve stick with it the entire year, and 80% give up by February, according to studies. Existing extremes (all or nothing conduct), having little to no responsibility, or creating non-measurable goals are a few factors that contribute to people failing to maintain their goals in motion.
These kinds of objectives are problematic because, without your knowledge, they can contribute to some level of self-sabotage. We should aim for the stars, but that’s not necessarily how life turns out. If you don’t take baby steps toward your objectives, you can end up failing more. When we fail, it may have a detrimental effect on our mental health and contribute to a pattern of reverting to previous behaviors.
Setting goals typically gives us a sense of optimism for the next year. Additionally, it gives us a clear path in the direction of the objectives or the person we wish to become, which strengthens us.
To make resolutions effective, we must set attainable, realistic goals and review them frequently as the year goes on. In other words, even though these objectives provide us with challenges, they are still attainable. We feel more in control of the results of our lives when we push ourselves and eventually succeed in accomplishing our goals. This spurs us on to do more, sending our emotional wellbeing up the ladder.
In the end, our goals should serve us; we shouldn’t feel bound by the ones we choose at the beginning of the year. If we start to feel frustrated and disheartened, it might be time to reevaluate our objectives and set more doable ones.
You can make good resolutions by doing the following:
Be sensible: Be prepared to fail occasionally, and be aware that progress can be gradual. Try to make sure your objectives are healthy and achievable without affecting your physical or mental health since you should be aware that life happens and things can get in the way of your ambitions.
Make it timetable: Try to avoid being too tight with your timeline and realize that it’s inappropriate to compare it to anyone else’s. Instead of setting unrealistic expectations, it will be more proactive and fruitful to set small, incremental goals.
Monitor Progress: Recognize that nothing happens overnight, so finding an accountability buddy to assist you in keeping track of your progress may be helpful. Keep a journal to note how you are feeling about your progress, as well as how you are feeling about your goals and the challenges you are facing.
Allow Flexibility: Allow yourself to be flexible and gracious. Try again next month if you don’t succeed this month. Investigate hobbies that bring you joy rather than trying to achieve goals that might not be good for your mental health.
It’s acceptable to revert to certain behaviors; we only need to realize that doing so is not a straightforward task. There will be successful and failed days, and on the days we regress, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves.
It’s critical to realize that achieving goals frequently entails experiencing failure. The most important question is whether we can learn from our mistakes. We might attempt to prevent and overcome these triggers by becoming more aware of what causes us to relapse. These triggers can be highlighted by counselors or therapists, and we can also recognize them in ourselves. We should also take into account the negative implications of giving up, such as how we feel about our ability to change and about ourselves. Being “resigned” to our unhealthy habits might send us down a path of helplessness and unfavorable outcomes in life.
The objectives we establish at the beginning of the year shouldn’t make us feel bound to them. If we experience discouragement and defeat, perhaps it’s time to review our objectives and set more realistic ones.
It’s not necessary to start over in the New Year. Spend some time doing something enjoyable and adventurous, and put your health before self-punishment. Reach out to a mental health professional if you are having trouble forgiving yourself and find yourself placing pressure on yourself. They can offer additional tools for goal-setting and setting healthy boundaries with yourself.