Reframe Your New Year's Resolutions

And that's a wrap folks!

2017 is officially here ... which suggests that we begin to conquer our New Year's resolutions in a new light. In fact, the early Babylonians believed that what people did on the first day of the year affected what they did for the rest of that calendar year (Durlofsky, 2016). Although this Babylonian philosophy may be a bit extreme, many of us share a similar viewpoint in that we have a blank slate to work with, or a chance to start a new chapter of life! It is the perfect opportunity to start over, refresh our mental state, or change our bad habits.  

But easier said than done, right?! Sixty percent of us make resolutions upon ringing in the New Year, however only eight percent are successful (Cox, 2016). With this statistic in mind, It is important that we begin to reframe our New Year's resolutions so that we have a chance of seeing them through.

To improve the odds of making a resolution that will stick, consider the following helpful tips:

  • Set a specific goal - make your goal concrete and break it into smaller sub-goals if need be. For instance, if your resolution is to practice meditation on a daily basis, start by meditating for 5 minutes, once at a desired time and place. Once you are successful, begin to increase your meditation increments further. Remember that your goal should also be realistic and achievable!
  • Write your resolution down - stick a note with your resolution on it, somewhere where you can view on a daily basis. This will help you remain focused and consistent. 
  • Be accountable - let friends, family, and coworkers know about your resolution. If you need more one-on-one support, consider having an accountability buddy whom you have to report to. 
  • Identify coping strategies to manage barriers - For example, if your goal is to drink less alcohol during social events, you may elect to bring a sober friend along for support, or consider skipping a party altogether. Reflect on what strategies have worked well for you in the past and build them into your plan. 
  • Reward yourself - it is important to recognize progress at each milestone. That being said, ensure that you are conscious of the rewards that you choose. For example, if you resolve to spend less money, think of alternatives (e.g. getting a massage, painting, having coffee with a friend, etc.) instead of going shopping. 
  • Ask for help - be open to seeking professional help when needed. This requires a great deal of courage, and strength but can pay large dividends in the end. 

What resolutions have you made for 2017? What strategies have helped you keep on track? Let us know in the comments below!

References

Cox, E. (2016). How to Reframe Your New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy, Successful 2017. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2016-12-28/how-to-reframe-your-new-years-resolutions-for-a-healthy-successful-2017

Durlofsky, P. (2016). 6 Ways to Create (and Keep) New Year’s Resolutions in 2017. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/12/26/6-ways-to-create-and-keep-new-years-resolutions-in-2017/

Photo Credit: http://usbuzzblog7.blogspot.ca/2014/12/new-years-country-stars-go-to-work-on.html