Millions of people will soon be starting on the road to self-improvement. Whether they reach their destination is a different story. The truth is we all know how easy it is to backslide on our bad habits, the ones we often commit ourselves to put a stop to at the start of the new year. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. You never know when a new year’s resolution will be the beginning of a life-changing transformation into someone better than before.
The key for many people in this position is to make the most of this once-a-year opportunity to start off right. Failure to focus on the areas where change and improvement are most needed will – more times than not – result in little to no positive impact. This is true whether your goals are remedial, financial, or spiritual in nature.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of making the most of new year’s resolutions:
Recognizing the Real Problem
Let’s say your new year’s resolution is to drink less alcohol in 2020. While cutting back on your liquor consumption is good, it might be like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Those with a self-acknowledged drinking problem probably need alcohol treatment to help manage their road to recovery. This sort of approach takes the real problem into consideration and makes someone more likely to succeed at reaching their goal.
The promises of self-improvement we make to ourselves at the start of the year inevitably hinge on our own ability to fulfill them. For example, deciding to be more financially responsible in 2020 should not be contingent on what those around us do or the circumstances in which we find ourselves. In other words, we are solely responsible for fulfilling our new year’s resolutions. Appreciating this fact will better prepare us for the challenges which lie ahead.
The factors we so often point to as reasons for not fulfilling our new year’s resolutions are challenges to overcome. In many situations, they’re inevitable difficulties which stand in the way of self-improvement. For instance, someone who commits to dieting in 2020 should anticipate the possibility of being confronted with the opportunity to eat unhealthy foods. Between birthday parties, holidays, and other special events, having to resist the urge to break from your diet is to be expected. Anticipating these obstacles before they appear is essential for sticking to your new year’s resolution.
Moving Past Relapse
Mistakes happen. So you gave in and gorged on several slices of cake for your spouse’s birthday. Rather than consider your effort to eat better to be a lost cause, have the perseverance to move past a momentary relapse in diet or other bad habits. Wake up the next day ready to resume your effort to only eat healthily, and avoid looking back.
Putting Progress in Perspective
Many people choose to shoot for the moon when choosing a new year’s resolution. While lofty goals are not inherently bad, their unattainability can make significant progress seem less substantial. It’s important to put your progress in perspective. Are you better off than you were last year? Is it a result of your resolution? If so, let it be motivation to keep going. At the same time, don’t lose sight of the main goal while acknowledging your progress; getting 25% there – while something to be proud of – is not a justification to give up.
Making a promise to yourself to be a better person at the start of a new year is a time-honored tradition. Unfortunately, so is the habit of giving up before spring. However, that doesn’t mean new year’s resolutions aren’t worth making. It only means we need to be better about making them happen.