Enforcing Better Habits: Why You Don’t Need To Wait For A New Year's Resolution

What is your New Year’s resolution? How long is your New Year’s resolution list? So what are you going to do differently this year? These are all questions we get every single year and somehow magically we need to fulfill each resolution for a whole year. It is an ongoing trend where we make these long extravagant lists, like go to the gym at least five times a week, only have a salad for lunch or wake up at 6 am every single day to get ahead of work. In retrospect, we are humans, and it takes much more than some silly list at the start of the year to motivate us to get it all done. Overall, New Year’s resolutions places an immense amount of pressure on people who make them, and the sad truth is that most people break their resolutions only after a few weeks. The life hack is to not view our resolutions as resolution, but rather stop giving January 1st so much power and view our goals in a different way.

woman weightlifting in gym Photo by John Arano from Unsplash

It is smarter, easier and more efficient to view any potential resolution as a new habit instead. Focus on the small things, because the small things end up making a bigger and longer impact in our lives. Enforce habits that are doable. For example, I have been committed to drinking a lot of ice water when I first wake up. Yes, this is something everyone should already be doing, but I was recently encouraged to do the same. And the best part is that I don’t have to wait till New Year’s to do it. I have also been trying my best to keep up with a yoga and meditation schedule every week. It helps me distress and regroup, especially during an anxious and hectic week. I try to give myself time to be by myself. Another habit that is crucial, especially during the age of working from home and taking classes over Zoom, is making sure you change out of pajamas. I try my best to put on at least a work out outfit, even though I may not work out that day. I know a lot of resolutions revolve around diet and eating better, but I have realized it is healthier and more doable to substitute one small difference in your diet a month and go on. 

woman practicing yoga and meditating Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Resolutions have the reputation of not allowing one to make any mistakes or slip ups. This is rather an unhealthy way to view a resolution, especially when it is a resolution that aims to make a positive change in your life. When you decide to start a new habit, allow yourself self compassion. It is okay to have a cheat day, it is okay if you don’t meditate one day, and it is okay if you don’t stick to the plan all the time. Discipline takes time and hard work. It is known that habits typically take about 21 days to build, but as we all know it is easier to break a habit than to keep it. In order to keep a habit, it is vital to be patient with yourself. 

love yourself written on a sidewalk Photo by Michelle Bonkosky from Unsplash

Overall, do not be frightened when it comes to resolution season. Rather, focus on implementing new habits or changing old ones that match your lifestyle the best. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout every time you work out, and you do not only have to eat salads everyday for the whole year. The idea behind focusing more on your habits is to reduce some of the pressure we have on ourselves without ruining our mental health and stability.