Yes, the following statistics from this Forbes article might be enough to push us away: Close to half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Only about eight percent stick with them.
Even so, a New Year’s resolution can be worthwhile. It can be an opportunity for you to evaluate yourself. What did you do in the previous year you wish you had done differently?
New Year’s resolutions require you to upend some ingrained habits. They can be difficult.
But you can come up with a resolution that sticks. Here’s how:
How to Make a Resolution that Sticks
- Watch out for the New Year’s resolution spectrum. Picture a New Year’s resolution as resting on a pair of scales. You want equal weight — for the scales to balance with each other and not tilt one direction. With New Year’s resolutions, the scales can get tipped if the resolution is either:
a. Too big. These resolutions deal with absolutes and don’t allow any leeway for the unexpected. This year, you might come down with the flu and have to take a week off from your workout routine. Does your resolution allow grace for those missed days? While it’s good to be ambitious, make sure your ambition is tied to your effort or performance and not to an unrealistic end result.
b. Too vague. This is the opposite end of the too-big spectrum. Your resolution might have plenty of flexibility, but it’s just as doomed if you don’t incorporate concrete results. “I’m going to eat healthy and work out” sounds good, but it’s not enough to visualize a routine.
- Choose something that aligns with your values. If you aren’t resolving to do something you’re passionate about, you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment. At some point during the year, your motivation will be tested. For example, when the weather registers as six degrees with a negative-15-degree wind chill, are you still going to want to trek to the gym? I’m willing to guess that answer for you: No. The more you can tie your resolution to your core values, the more it will influence your habits.An easy way to come up with a resolution that aligns with your core values is this: Imagine your life as a story. Right now, you’re living out a chapter of that story. Now, imagine where you want the story to go. How do you want the story to end? What’s preventing you from getting there? By thinking in these terms, you can begin to identify areas to work on.
If those suggestions aren’t enough to come up with a New Year’s resolution, you might want to consider one of these six goals.
Six New Year’s Resolutions You Might Want to Consider
- De-stress. Stress has a lot of negative effects on the body, including to the teeth. To alleviate stress, you can develop a habit of these six simple steps.
- Eat healthier. Whether it be a main dish, a favorite winter drink or a healthy dessert, eating well can give you more energy, reduce your risk for disease and just make you feel better in general.
- Learn an instrument. Music is good for the soul. And you can also take certain steps to make sure it’s good on the teeth, too!
- Read more. For this one, you might want to choose a concrete number, like 24 books throughout the year. Or better yet, six books every three months: It’s the same goal, but you can feel like you’re making progress. As you begin flipping pages, make sure to follow the 20-20-20 rule.
- Brush and floss. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can prevent all sorts of issues in your mouth.
- Show yourself some love. Too many people place too much worth on who they aren’t, while undervaluing who they are. For 2017, you can commit to wellness, brighten your smile and feed your soul.
We wish you a happy and healthy 2017! These are a few of our New Year’s resolutions. Now it’s your turn: What are yours?