How are your New Year’s resolutions going? …

Written by Eric Ulchakere

May 20, 2020

We’re 9 days in, folks. How are your resolutions going? Did you make them? Are you doing them?

According to this Forbes article, only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions successfully do them. (It’s a slower drop off than you’d think, though—at six months, nearly 50% of people are still working toward their resolution.)

Like many other Americans, I made a resolution or two as I welcomed in the New Year. Unlike past years, though, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to do mine.

In the past, I’ve had resolutions like:

-Be a marathon runner!

-Don’t say anything negative about ANYTHING ALL YEAR.

-Become fluent in Spanish (I know French and English…not Spanish, not even a little bit)

-Look like a model by swimsuit season (nobody should ever have this resolution)

What’s wrong with these resolutions? I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I set astronomical goals that I hadn’t even started to accomplish. If you want to be a marathon runner, you should be willing to run more than three miles, something I absolutely refuse to do. So not only were my goals not realistic in the slightest, but I didn’t give myself a roadmap on how to accomplish them.

Another thing that I did wrong with these resolutions was hyperbolizing things I actually wanted to accomplish. When I said I wanted to be a marathon runner, the thing I actually wanted to do was be comfortable running a few times a week. When I said I wanted to not say anything negative for an entire year, what I really wanted to improve was my ability to not complain…and so on. But those goals of “running more” and “complaining less” seemed lackluster, not dramatic enough. So in order to make my resolutions as dramatic as possible, I took those goals, which I actually value, to extremes that were impossible for me to accomplish.

For comparison, here are my 2019 New Year’s resolutions:

-Every week, take a bath, and

-Do one hour of pilates

That’s it. So much simpler. While the bath resolution may seem silly, I made it because taking a long bath means I am deliberately relaxing for 20 minutes (or longer…my roommate’s not a fan) a week. By committing to taking a bath, I’m prioritizing relaxing in hot water over all the other stuff I generally feel I should be doing. It’s enjoyment for enjoyment’s sake, and I want more of that this year.

The second resolution is also short, and completely achievable. I know I can, once a week, do an hour worth of pilates. I made this a resolution because it’s something I know I enjoy doing, and just need to make time for. Instead of this resolution being the absolute extreme of the real goal I value (working out), this resolutions serves as a kind of launchpad for other goals. If I can find an hour to do pilates one day a week, I know I can find 20 minutes most mornings to do a quicker exercise. That isn’t my resolution because I know that’s something I’ll be working up to throughout the year, and I don’t want to constantly feel like a failure for not doing it.

If you want tips as to how to better stick to your resolutions, I found this cool post.

Happy 2019, and good luck!

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