Your Resolution Might be Setting You up for Failure
by Rachel FeidelmanDid you follow through with your health-related new year’s resolution last year? If not, you’re not alone. According to a recent University of Scranton study, only 8 percent of people are successful in actually achieving the goal they set on New Year’s day. However, a large contributing factor to this seemingly hopeless statistic is the fact that most resolutions are downright unrealistic. By setting a goal that is possible to reach and planning how you are going to achieve smaller goals throughout shorter time periods, completing your new year’s resolution doesn’t have to be such a daunting task this year.
While setting a broad goal may seem beneficial because it allows some leeway in the results, doing so makes achievement nearly impossible. For example, the Scranton study reveals number one resolution of 2015 was to “lose weight.” If this is what you had in mind, consider specifying. Are you looking to lose 10 pounds, or are you looking to live a healthier lifestyle by regularly exercising and consuming a well-balanced diet?
It is easy to get frustrated that you aren’t making the progress you hoped for if you set an impossibly large goal. Instead, set one large goal but multiple smaller ones that act as stepping-stones every month. Instead of deciding you’re going to go to the gym every day of the week starting January 1 when you never went previously, consider aiming for twice a week in January, three times a week in February, etc.
If you follow these tips and are still struggling, it is crucial to remember that January 1 is not the only day you can set goals for yourself. Every day has the potential to mark the start of positive change, so don’t restrict yourself to the mindset that this is possible only once a year!
Rachel Feidelman is a junior at the University of Maryland, studying journalism and economics. She is also an editorial intern with Natural Awakenings.