By: Anaya Balkcom
As we approach the year’s end, many people are gearing up for the new year by preparing their resolutions for 2024. For some, it might be exercising more or cursing less. Maybe you want to post more on social media or pick up a new hobby.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to keep up with these resolutions? Regardless of what resolution you choose, I bet I can guess how most of your New Year’s resolutions will end.
You spend most of your December trying to figure out your big resolution, searching high and low, and looking for something to improve the New Year.
By the middle of December or even New Year’s Eve, you finally lock in on a resolution and share this with everyone you know in the hopes of them holding you accountable. January begins, and you’re off to a great start. The weeks go by, and you finally feel confident about this resolution.
For some reason, this year will be much different from previous years. This year, you will actually stick to your resolution. Just as you are closing in on the second or third week, something happens that derails your course, messing up the flow you had from the beginning of the year.
At this point, you feel that continuing with this resolution is useless since you have already interfered with the flow, and now your resolution is dropped for the umpteenth year in a row. Now, I can be way off on my prediction, but this may resonate with a number of people reading this.
I’m here to spread the good news and let you know that it doesn’t have to be like this anymore. Fun Fact: Did you know that the New Year’s Resolutions tradition dates back roughly 4,000 years? Ancient Babylonians were said to be the first people to make New Year’s resolutions.
As you can see, a lot has changed from 4,000 years ago till now. With that being said, I think there’s a way we can set standards for ourselves and consistently achieve them for this coming year.
What is my magical plan? Goals. We as a society view resolutions as this huge obstacle we must overcome to reach a level of gratification at the end.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Goals allow us to break down what we hope to achieve in a more obtainable and less intimidating way.
Make sure goals are tangible:
I have provided some examples below that will help demonstrate how to turn your resolutions into goals.
New Year’s Resolution: Be more active at the gym
Goal: Go to the gym three days a week for at least 20-30 minutes the first two weeks. Week three workout 3-4 days a week for 30-45 minutes each day you workout. Continue this pattern for the rest of the year.
You can start off this goal by slowly starting to attend the gym. You do not have to pick a specific day or stay there for a certain amount of time.
Just go to the gym, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. This will allow you to become familiar with the gym setup. By not restricting yourself to a certain time or day the first time you go, you are allowing yourself to freely enjoy the experience without it feeling like a chore.
As the days go by, you can begin to designate days that you go to the gym since you are now comfortable with going. The most important part is ensuring you aren’t hard on yourself during this process.
Allow yourself time to breathe and remember that you are going to the gym for your health, above all else. Adjust your days and times accordingly. Just follow through moving your body, even if it means going for a walk outside instead of the gym.
New Year’s Resolution: Read the Bible more often.
Goal: Download the Bible app before New Year’s Day.
Read the daily scripture provided every day.
Agree to complete at least one plan a month. Share the link with family and friends to help hold yourself accountable.
As I previously stated, breaking down your resolutions is best to make them seem less intimidating. With that being said, you can go about a couple of ways to accomplish this task.
The method I think works best is to download the Bible app and choose from one of their many insightful plans. By reading the Bible plans, you are being connected with it. You are also provided with plans that relate to real-life situations, helping you to navigate through life challenges.
The Bible app offers a number of Bible plans created to help you in the varying seasons of your life. You can also invite friends and family to join the plan with you. That way, you will be able to complete this New Year’s goal together!
New Year’s Resolution: Eat Healthier
Goal: Research different healthy meal ideas
Meal prep your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week.
It can be difficult to change eating habits at first because we introduce ourselves to foods that are not healthy in our everyday diet. However, though difficult, this feat is not impossible.
You can start your healthy eating journey by looking up nutritious yet enjoyable meals. Eating clean but unappetizing meals will make it difficult to stay on track with your goal.
Plan out your meals ahead of time. This way, you won’t succumb to eating something unhealthy because it is a quick solution. Take your time during this process. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you treat this as a chore or become quickly irritated with this new way of eating, the chances of you sticking to this goal aren’t likely. Give yourself grace in the moments when you feel like giving up, and remember to take this process one step at a time.
By turning resolutions into goals, we remind ourselves that the accomplishments we hope to make are long-lasting habits, rather than something we accomplish and then move on from.
The term ‘resolution’ brings the hopes of a new life without the actual promises of a new life. Resolutions have a reputation for being made but rarely completed. Goals, on the other hand, have a reputation for being completed. Be sure to write your goals down in a journal so you can look back to see all you have achieved.
Referring to our resolutions as goals will change our mindset and our approach for the New Year.
Good luck to all of you on this journey, and may you reach every goal you hope to achieve in the upcoming year!