The New Year’s Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make This Year (And We Ones We Should Make Instead)
As the year draws to a close, many of us are letting out our waistlines and carving new notches in our belts in anticipation of a few weeks of festive gluttony. “It’s okay”, we tell ourselves “I’ll get right on it in the New Year!”. Thus, we plan a long and extensive list of positive life changes that we tell ourselves we’ll make at the start of January. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making positive life changes, but the concept of deferring them until the New Year may be wrong headed and even counterproductive. Here we’ll look at some of the resolutions we find ourselves making year on year that we absolutely should not make this year, as well as potentially more helpful and productive ones that we should make instead.
Why New Year’s Resolutions rarely ever work
They’re a tradition that we’ve indulged in since the days of ancient Rome but, in the words of Tim Minchin, “I don’t believe just ‘cause ideas are tenacious that means that they’re worthy”. However well we may mean when we make them the simple fact is that our brains do not want us to keep them. They’re easy to make and rarely do we fully consider how difficult they may be to keep when we make them. Small and specific life changes are often way more effective. Thus…
Don’t: Say you’ll lose weight this year
It often has a starring role on the top of resolution lists but as frustrated as we may be with our bulging midriffs around this time of year, making a resolution to “lose weight” either through vigilant diet and exercise or a visit to a bariatric center is rarely a great idea. It’s fairly nebulous and we tend to go about it without having specific goals or a clear strategy of how we will meet them. Instead…
Do: Say you’ll make healthier food choices
Vague promises to ourselves about weight loss are rarely as effective as educating ourselves about healthier food choices and opting for them over the foods that we know will do us no good. Vow to cut down on or eliminate processed foods or join the Veganuary bandwagon since a vegan diet is proven to be the best for fat loss.
Don’t: Say you’ll land your dream job
This is another staple of the resolution list. While it’s certainly noble, it’s often not a promise that we can keep to ourselves, leaving us frustrated and saddened. An increasingly competitive job market means that even if your dream does job float along, you may, through no fault of your own, not land it. Instead…
Do: Say you’ll be happier at work
You may not be able to control the job market, but you can control your enjoyment of your current job. However monotonous or frustrating your job may be, there’s always something you can do to enjoy it more. Starting the day with a positive attitude, rewarding yourself for your achievements (however small they may be) and focusing your attention on colleagues and aspects of your job that bring you joy are often a far more achievable goal than waiting for your dream job to come along.
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