The fresh start of the new year can make us feel like it’s time to do everything we’ve been procrastinating or have been too unmotivated to accomplish. However, we forget that whether we like it or not, we remain the same people.
Many of us are often thinking about our resolutions and goals for the new year far before the clock strikes midnight. These can vary from lifestyle changes such as reading more, drinking more water, eating healthier or working out, to picking up an instrument, adopting a new hobby and other aspirations of personal betterment.
New Year’s resolutions can be beneficial in setting guidelines for yourself over the course of the year and are an exciting way to challenge your current habits. However, be careful not to expect instant results or radical change come the first week of January. It is completely OK if your life and actions seem the exact same — because in reality, they still are.
We expect that the flip of a calendar will give us the boost of energy, resources, time or money to finally get to the things we have been putting off, but that may be putting ourselves in a position where we are bound to fail. These various goals may very well be an overload of responsibilities, seeing as how our lives haven’t changed from the previous day. Expecting too much and criticizing or becoming harsh on yourself when you cannot reach every resolution you’ve set can quickly become unhealthy.
When you attempt to drink seven additional cups of water, work out for several hours a day, change your diet and grow frustrated that crocheting wasn’t as enjoyable as you expected, several changes all at once can cause you to give up on your goals from the get-go. Where these habits can gradually become introduced in your day-to-day life is when you work on them one by one.
Instead of expecting yourself to check off your entire list right away, choose the one or two you feel would be the most manageable and realistic, and begin implementing them. Habits take at least two months to form, so if you don’t feel motivated or particularly good at something right away, don’t give up until you’ve given yourself time to try it.
The new year comes with its own set of anxieties and expectations separate from personal resolutions—so no matter what you’re hoping to accomplish, give yourself grace, be patient and try not to feel the pressure to transform into someone else.