Mental Health

Should you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Christmas is over and the New Year has begun and for many of us, that means creating New Years Resolutions. We’re already a week in so, are you well on your way with your Resolutions or have you already quit? Maybe you want to lose weight, in that case, I would highly recommend reading this post. Maybe you want to stress less. Eat healthier. Change jobs. Or, maybe you just want to smile more. No matter what your Resolutions are, I’m here to talk about whether you should even make them.

80% of New Years Resolutions are abandoned by February and less than 10% are ever completed 

So why do we waste our time doing them? We set unachievable targets that become a depressive monument to the beginning of the year if you don’t achieve them and ‘fail’ to complete your New Years Resolutions. Also, why on earth are we waiting until the New Year to create these resolutions and targets? If it’s something you really want then why can’t you start at any time. None of this waiting until tomorrow malarkey, start today, right now.

Something I have noticed from experience is that in the past when I was pretty unhappy with my weight and had low self esteem. I would always tell myself, ‘this year I’m going to be skinny’ ‘This year I want to lose weight’. I would never set myself a realistic goal because in my mindset I was trying to be someone I’m not. Those skinny blonde girls in the magazines or the films. The beautiful models on the front covers. That was who I was trying to be. This is a perfect example of trying to set an unrealistic and unachievable resolution or as I would recommend instead, goals.

Goals instead of resolutions?

I’m here to tell you to not bother with New Years Resolutions. What you might find more beneficial is to create yourself realistic goals throughout the year to achieve within an appropriate time frame. But don’t bother with goals at all unless you’re willing to commit to them and really want to change. It’s also not something you should do all the time, more on this later. So, I propose the following scenarios:

Losing weight – Instead of losing two stone. Set a goal, month by month on how much you want to lose for that month. It could also work week on week or you could set a goal to achieve within twelve weeks. Just don’t get carried away and set goals you can’t achieve. No one can safely lose two stone in one month and keep it off.

Enjoy life – This one is the epitome of unrealistic Resolutions that should instead be achieved by using small incremental goals throughout the year. You can’t simply say that this year you will enjoy life and expect it to happen or get mad/depressed if it’s not going how you want because life is great at throwing obstacles in the way. Instead, start by writing down what you mean when you say ‘enjoy life’. You may be able to create a more realistic goal by just changing your way of thinking about what you want to achieve. If enjoying life means smiling more then focus on that first.

These are just a couple of the examples you can follow but everyone’s goals and wants will be very different.

How do I set realistic goals?

The trick to it is to simplify what you want. Use three steps to help you.

  • Write down what goals you want to achieve and when you want to achieve them by.
  • Ask yourself, is that realistic? Can I do that in that time frame? Do I even need to set a goal for that?
  • Most likely you will need to make it simpler. Write your list out again by pulling your goal apart. For example, underneath saving money you might write, £1 a day this week, or saying no this week to 5 purchases you want but don’t need. Small goals are key.

Set goals only when needed

I don’t live day by day with goals on my mind of what I want to achieve. I set them as a backdrop in my life as to what I would like to do and work on to improve myself. For example, I’m working on eating healthy, exercising and standing on my own two feet more. I currently have no goals set to achieve these but I am already making progress. There doesn’t need to be a deadline as it’s not a yearly thing. It’s something that takes as long as it takes. Life isn’t a race.

Instead of always setting goals or focusing on regrets about things you did in the past, try instead to just be in the present. Enjoy and be grateful for what’s around you. Work on being more positive.

Let me know if you set goals and what your current ones are. If you don’t, why don’t you? What works for you?

You can keep in touch via Facebook or Instagram. I have LinkedIn, Twitter and I also now have a Pinterest account. You may notice you can pin any of the images and my recipes now to your account. Handy for storing them for a late date.

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