Are you one of those who fulfill New Year’s resolutions or do you end up giving up? It’s almost a tradition to start a new year promising that we will change or improve. But it is also completely normal that many of these promises or goals end up not being fulfilled.
Resolutions become a habit after 21 days. But the important thing is to be consistent and improve gradually, week after week.
Undoubtedly, improving our diet or our physical health are the most common goals. Overwork, stress or a sedentary lifestyle can cause discomfort, back pain and contractures, and at the start of a new year, many people consider adopting a healthier lifestyle.
What are the most common purposes of Spanish?
There are many New Year’s goals, some more classic and some more original that we have added over the years:
Learn something new. This is undoubtedly the most important goal of all, and yet the easiest to accomplish.
Stop smoking, drink less alcohol. Another classic. And one of the goals that fewer people manage to achieve.
Travel or save money. Both require planning.
Be grateful, spend more time with family, spend quality time with partner, listen more, be happy. Many times our pace of life our most important pillars. Our family and our partner need special moments, which can be taken at any time of the day. These are generally the most common purposes for the youngest, aged between 18 and 24.
Respect the environment. This is one of the finalities that we have introduced in recent years. Starting the year recycling at home is a minimal effort that can be sustained throughout 2023.
Social networks also greatly influence our next goals, and they will be in the New Year’s resolutions no less. Violeta Medialdea of Instropectia psicología told us that: “many people take the networks as a mirror, and if they see that someone travels a lot they want to imitate them, or if someone begins a reform in his house, he intends to do the same. This makes it even more difficult for us to achieve our goals. Because we do not take into account our own characteristics and what is best for us”.
Why not keep our New Year’s resolutions??
It is normal to start the year with the intention of achieving our goals, however, this idea deflates as the weeks go by. The main reason is that we set exaggerated or disproportionate goals. We try to cover it alland we end up feeling overwhelmed.
Making the big challenges last over time is complicated, they can cost us more than expected and cause us to lose enthusiasm. Also, non-specific goals don’t help us to be consistent. We must have a clear objective before us in order to be able to walk towards it and achieve it.
Psychologist Violeta Medialdea assures that: “it is very unlikely that if in 2022 we have not played sports or stopped smoking, we will achieve it in 2023”. You have to have adjusted expectations so as not to fall into the feeling of failure. The most important thing is to have realistic goals: “if I normally smoke 10 cigarettes, the most realistic thing is not to quit suddenly but to start reducing it to 8, then 6… and so on right now.”
According to a study by the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania in which 200 people participated over two years, it showed that only 19% managed to keep their New Year’s resolutions.
What can we do to achieve our goals?
Small steps work. We can maintain complex goals as long as each day we take a new step towards achieving them. For example, changing our physical form is possible, but we cannot expect to run a marathon on the first day. You have to start by being able to do 10 push-ups. Create a habit that allows us to improve every day.
For psychologist Violeta Medialdea: “The goals themselves are poorly stated. It is easier for us to set flexible resolutions. That it’s not just a list like the shopping list.” And that raises several questions for them that we can answer: why do I want to achieve this, how long do I have to take to achieve this ?
Writing down what we want to achieve can help us. We can write down 5 goals that we would like to achieve in the next 12 months. It is essential not to want to meet them all at once, you have to choose a single objective and when you have reached it, move on to the next one. A good idea for Medialdea is that: “if it’s about small habits, we can start with one or two and when the 21 days are up, we can add new ones. If it is a long-term objective, we can set guidelines over time, which can be readjusted in the middle of the year so that we can finally say in December 2023 that we have achieved this objective.”