Another year has come and almost gone in what feels like the blink of an eye. A new one is lingering just around the corner — and with it a chance for new opportunities to improve your quality of life and set better and healthier habits for yourself. To make the most of your New Year’s resolutions, take a look at what makes them important and how to keep them.
Making resolutions for the upcoming year is really an exercise in self-evaluation. It’s a chance for you to take time to analyze yourself inwardly and determine how your actions, habits and behaviors affect your own personal health and happiness.
You might take this opportunity to ask yourself what habits this past year impacted the overall quality of your life positively. Those you might want to carry with you into next year. Inversely, you can analyze behaviors that produced negative results and come up with potentially better options to try in the new year.
That's not to say that self-awareness and improving yourself is something that should be relegated only to a particular time of year. All too often, the fresh outlook one greets the new year with can become deflated by the habitual tendencies that left you in a rut the year before. It’s easy to grow discouraged by this and abandon your new goals and hopes for yourself.
Not to worry — this is a natural part of life and your efforts to better the quality of it, and you should face these challenges head on. So take a look at what happens in these moments of doubt and regression, and determine what the best method of dealing with them is.
It’s no secret that at times you can be your own worst enemy. Frequently, the things you see as your biggest limitations and obstacles in life are self-imposed beliefs that may be the source of bad habits you’re resolving to change.
Statistically, 43% of people expect to give up their new year’s resolutions after just one month of trying to implement it into their daily lives. Think about that — almost half of the people who make resolutions this year are already persuading themselves that they won’t be able to see these improvements through to routine implementation. As the saying goes, old habits die hard, and seniors may be well acquainted with these hurdles to making positive changes.
How do you overcome negative tendencies to replace them with constructive ones?
One of the biggest contributing factors to a pessimistic approach to change and improvement is the idea that you're working toward your goals alone. Every year, millions of people set fitness goals in January and purchase memberships at a local gym, for example. But only around 10% of these individuals keep their determination to get in shape past the month of March. Much of the rapid discouragement found in the other 90% of people is rooted in the idea that they're trying to achieve fitness goals alone. All the while, there are communities of millions of other people who have the exact same goal!
Any goal you set becomes more feasible and attainable when you have a support system or community to rely on for encouragement and companionship.
Don’t try to achieve your resolution alone this year — reach out to the community you are a part of. Residents at The Gardens assisted living community have a built-in support system of like-minded neighbors and staff, for example. Communicate with your peers and friends, and as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Comfort yourselves together, and edify one another.”
There's a difference between being ambitious and expecting too much of yourself. As you ponder your resolutions for the upcoming year, strive to be realistic. Although any determination to improve comes with its own challenges, strive to set definite goals with achievable ends that you know are within reach. Expecting the world of yourself will burn you out quickly and prove counterproductive.
As you begin to incorporate these new habits into your life, there’s sure to be an initial burst of excitement and inspiration. The difficulty in this is that as you work harder and harder towards your goal, this eagerness may lessen in intensity. It’s important to stay dedicated and committed to resolutions, even when the going gets tough, if you want to reach success. Take time to reflect frequently and remember why you chose to implement these new habits into your lifestyle.
Setting time aside before you begin your new year’s resolution to mentally prepare yourself for whatever obstacles you may face is also highly beneficial. Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself that there may be hard moments along the way, and more importantly, that that’s ok. Breaking old behavioral patterns and replacing them with healthier ones is never a cake walk, and some days may not be easy. Preparing yourself for the rough days is a sort of preemptive strike on the habits you are trying to break, and that can make the good days seem even better.
As you approach the new year, take this time to evaluate what you can improve about your life and reach out to your community for support in any new resolutions you may undertake.