The end of the year is about to invade all of our personal spaces really soon, but before it does, you might be tempted to give yourself one last end of the year pep talk, confessing all of the things you messed up on in 2017 that you pinky-promise you’ll do differently starting January 1st.
New Year’s resolutions seem as popular to make as they are to break. Though we exit the old year with good intentions, we may find ourselves completely forgetting about the sworn-in changes we vowed to make before the clock stroked midnight and we cheers to a new year.
If you’re looking to set resolutions for 2018, know that you’re not alone. More than one-quarter of Americans will kick off the New Year with a game plan of what they want to do differently. But before you make that list, first take a look at the four most common New Year’s Resolutions that people break, so you can cross them off your personal list.
1. Lose Weight
Ditching the excess pounds you put on in 2017 might be a the top of your new year to-do list, but it’s one of the most common resolutions that people tend to forget about after the first few weeks in January.
Kelsey Torgerson, a MSW, LCSW, says that if you’re going to set this goal, you have to be super specific.
“So many people flood the gyms come January, and then stop going at the end of the month,” says Torgerson. “Use a tracking system so that you can see the noticeable health benefits to keep yourself motivated, and focus more on micro-goals, such as "This week, I'm going to the gym three times." And if that's successful, the next week you can sign up for a fitness class to attend regularly. Build on each week.”
2. Stay on Budget
As you eyeball all of your credit card statements from the past twelve months, you might instantly make a resolution that next year you will set a budget and stick to it – no matter what. While it’s important to control your spending habits, it’s also important to define what that looks like for you, perhaps even month-by-month.
Torgerson suggests using a money-tracking app. “I recommend the app, "Daily Budget", where you can figure out what you bring in, what your set expenses are, and what you're allowed to spend each day. You can even set longer-term savings goals so that you know how much you should set aside each day.”
3. Make Myself a Better Person
If you’re already stocking up on self-help books and creating vision boards to guide you toward being a better person next year, know that the resolution of becoming a better person, while popular, is also easy to break.
“I think we run into trouble in this area because we miss the fact that self-improvement is not a one and done kind of thing,” says John P. Forsyth, a Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program (ADRP) at the University at Albany, SUNY. “Self-improvement is not a destination where you suddenly arrive and you’re done. So long as you are living, there is always more to do to be your best you. The same is true with lifestyle. There’s always more that can be done to bring your life in alignment with what truly matters to you. So, the resolution here should focus on the steps along the path that would move you in the direction of the kind of you that you wish to become.”
4. Let Go of Old Love
Perhaps you spent a good amount of time this year holding on to the idea of getting back together with an ex. If you’re looking to start fresh in 2018 and jump into the dating scene to find someone new, Stephanie Lee, a Lifestyle Strategist/Therapist and Founder/CEO of Successfully Me LLC, suggests being honest with yourself first.
“Many of the people in question are tied to romantic feelings and it seems to be a good idea to leave old flames in the past where they seemingly belong,” Lee says. “Although its good in theory, the calls to exes begin again because those feelings were never truly addressed and laid to rest. Before claiming the New Year won't include your old flame, make sure you truthfully deal with unresolved feelings to ensure you truly move on, and you don't bring old feelings into a new relationship and New Year.”
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