Resolving to Change: Ensuring a Successful New Year's Resolution | Rice Psychology Group
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Resolving to Change: How to Ensure a Successful New Year’s Resolution

I’ve been making New Year’s resolutions for almost 10 years now and have never managed to follow through in making any of them a reality. I try to keep them realistic, like losing a few pounds each month or saving a couple of hundred dollars here and there to purchase a new car. A few weeks into every new year, though, I end up giving up because I just can’t seem to find the willpower, time or strength to see my resolutions to the end. Is there anything I can do or keep in mind that can make my resolutions easier to accomplish? 

Ensuring a Successful New Year's Resolution

If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution, then you’re fully aware of how difficult it can be to maintain and complete one. Promising to yourself that you’ll lose a few dozen pounds by the end of the year or give up smoking by the summer are great things to do. However, making a promise and keeping it is a chore in itself. Rice Psychology Group wants you to know that making a New Year’s resolution a reality isn’t hard. It just takes some work and realistic expectations!

Aim for Something You CAN Do

Making unrealistic expectations is one of the main reasons people fail with their resolutions. Take, for example, wanting to lose weight. This is perhaps the most popular resolution that millions of Americans make each year, but how many actually succeed? If they don’t, what caused them to fail?

Making unrealistic expectations is one of the main reasons people fail with their resolutions. Click To Tweet

You might to want to lose three or four pant sizes by March, but with chores, taking care of kids and working, that effort may be impossible. Take a more realistic approach, such as aiming to lose five pounds per month or a pound per week between now and March.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a set weight and want to go at your own pace, consider redesigning your eating habits so that soda, white bread and possibly cake and cookies are replaced with green tea, whole grains (Yes, we have read about “grain brain”!) and delicious fruits.

Prioritize Your Resolutions

Another mistake is taking on multiple resolutions at the same time. If you want to lose a few pounds and wish to quit smoking, DO NOT tackle both simultaneously. Quitting smoking takes strong willpower, something that you’ll undoubtedly also be using a lot of when trying to burn those pounds away. Work on quitting smoking first as it’ll take some time to get used to your new, nicotine-free lifestyle. When you’ve accomplished that, then you can hit the gym. We only have so much willpower to use at one time!

Remain Headstrong

Remaining headstrong with your resolution is just as important as planning how to finish it. Various time-consuming and rewardless activities can result in one failing to accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. Said activities can include:

  • Tackling multiple resolutions at once (See above)
  • Dealing with personal issues, like family- or work-related situations
  • Wasting time by watching too much television and/or Internet browsing

Although we understand that some things in life require attention, do your best to weed out whatever it is that’s wasting your time. Binge-watching a reality show can instead be spent taking a relaxing or rejuvenating walk to burn a few calories or reorganizing the living room furniture you’ve been fussing about for so long. Use your time to do something constructive that will leave you with a sense of accomplishment.

Remaining headstrong with your resolution is just as important as planning how to finish it. Click To Tweet

Be Specific About What You Want

Avoid broad resolutions like simply wanting to meet new people or purchasing a new car. These aren’t well defined enough to lead you to a desired outcome. Making new friends can be easy, but how will you do it? A new vehicle will be useful, but which model do you have your eye on and how will you pay for it?

A more realistic resolution would be saving up for a vehicle where you can afford to set away a set amount of money each month without it burning a hole in your wallet. Also, don’t aim for a car that’s beyond your means. Get something that you can afford and won’t stress you out.

When it comes to meeting new people, try to make new acquaintances at least once a week through volunteering efforts. Having defined resolutions makes it easier to accomplish them rather than making them broad and having no idea where to start.

When Will You Start?

Taking our previous example of wanting to make new friends, you’ll have to consider not only how you’ll go about doing this, but when. Pick out a certain day of the week to tackle this resolution and be adamant about going through with it. If you’re a very social person, then you might like to meet new people on the weekends at bars, restaurants or community get-togethers.

If you’re a bit more introverted but still like to socialize in quieter settings, volunteering is a great option. You can volunteer at an animal shelter or church on certain nights of the week. At these locations, you’re sure to meet new people!

We Can Help You Make Realistic Resolutions!

If there’s something specific that you want to accomplish for the new year but aren’t sure how to go about starting it, then get in touch with us! At Rice Psychology Group, we listen and give advice to anyone needing a gentle nudge in the right direction. Reach out to us in Tampa today if you need some guidance on handling life’s hurdles.

About Rice Psychology

Rice Psychology Group is home to a team of psychologists who work tirelessly to help adults, adolescents and children deal with their issues. Whether you’re currently dealing with depression, going through a divorce or fighting an issue you just can’t understand, know that our Tampa psychologists are here to help.

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