New Year’s resolutions in the time of a pandemic

The pandemic has changed a lot in everyone’s lives, especially in how, when, and why we do things. Although stores, restaurants, and businesses have slowly been opening, friends and families are getting back together and everyone is masked up, times are still tough. We are not living in the “normal” as we have known our entire lives.

How can we even begin to create a New year’s Resolution in this time of uncertainty and fear? Some questions to ask yourself before creating a New Year’s Resolution are simple; what do I want to achieve? Who do I want to help? Where do I want to go? What do I want to change? or what CAN I change? 

A resolution is a promise or a goal made by an individual to change something about themselves, or about their lives, change something in someone else’s life or have something they want to achieve. Most people make resolutions in the New Year because it is the New Year, a new beginning, a time for a new goal, however many of them fail because they do not know what they want to resolve to do. 

New Year’s Resolutions have been around for a long time, Anne Halkett, a writer and member of the Scottish gentry had one of the first known “list” of Resolutions, she had many “pledges” to herself written in one of her many diaries – most notably dated January 2nd, 1691.

The best way to start creating your New Year’s Resolutions is to create a list of wants and goals, you should be specific and be sure the goal is attainable, having a goal that is not clear or that is impossible to achieve can help to falter that resolution. 

When I make my resolutions I first write them down and set a deadline. My goals have to be specific or I can falter and veer away from my actual goal. I try to keep a daily record of my progress and if I am not able to track my daily progress, I will check in with myself at least once a week.

This may sound obvious but if your goal is to lose weight or get fit, it can be helpful to try and reduce something else in your life as well and parallel to your goal. For example, lose weight, fewer carbohydrates in your diet.

Choose goals that are achievable, meaning something you can actually do or something you can accomplish. If you set an incredibly high goal you are setting yourself up for failure, smaller goals are a great way to start, and easier to see how far you get.

Be sure your resolutions are relevant to your life. You may not want to try and learn to speak French if you will never use the language in your daily life or you don’t have any plans to visit France.

You need to start by setting yourself up for success. Make sure you set up a realistic timeline for achieving your goal(s). Think about how much time you’ll need to get there, and break down your goal into smaller steps. This is extremely helpful when keeping track of your progress.

One resolution a lot of people make is to just be happy in their lives, however, it is not easy to just wake up and decide to be happy,  if you want to achieve happiness, there are some things you should try. First, make sure you know what you want or need in your life to be happy. Second, make sure you’re clear about why you want it. Third, start doing something every day towards achieving your goal. And finally, when you fail, don’t give up, never give up. Instead, learn from your failures and try again.

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