Updated: May 21
7 Minutes Read
The New Year is a time to get off to a good start and adopt new lifestyle habits. Indeed, it seems the perfect time to make resolutions and incorporate new things. But why does resolution often rhyme with failure? Why do we have such a hard time keeping our resolutions that we feel we have chosen for our own good, without any apparent coercion? First, the New Year is not a real motivator itself. In fact, changing the year doesn't change anything much besides losing precious time.
Motivation: where to get it to keep it?
The chances of achieving our goals are more significant when the motivation is "intrinsic"; it has its origins within us. This type of motivation is opposed to "extrinsic," either coming from another person or from the environment, society. For example, if a person sets a goal of keeping their house tidy, they are more likely to give up if they did so to avoid arguments with their partner (s) (extrinsic motivation) than if they have realized that it gives them a boost. Well-being and a sense of satisfaction (intrinsic motivation). How do we know if our motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic?
Listen to your internal speech! Are you thinking to yourself, "I need to go for a walk" or "I want to go breathe the fresh air to decompress from my day"?
If you hear yourself using the verb "to have," there is little chance that your motivation will take root "in the right place" ... But is this failure guaranteed? No! Suppose this objective is essential for you, consistent with your values , or necessary for your well-being. In that case, it is possible to change this internal discourse by identifying the benefits of this change (for example, I am going to go for a walk to better focus this afternoon).
Even our worst habits give us gains that, if not understood and identified, can create resistance to our ability to change them. Behind every terrible habit lies ... secondary gains! Also, it is essential to realize and admit that our behaviors (beneficial or not for our physical/mental/social health) have a function and benefits. Yes, even our worst habits give us gains that, if not understood and identified, can create resistance to our ability to change them. For example, a person might stubbornly resolve to quit smoking without success. It would be easy to simply conclude that the addiction is physiological, which would explain the goal's continued failure. However, by questioning this behavior, the person might realize that the function of smoking is to calm their stress. They might identify the "appetite suppressant" aspect as a secondary benefit that they do not want to let go of. This reflection could lead him to develop other stress management tools and work on his relationship to his diet and body, making it easier to quit smoking. One small step at a time On the other hand, our difficulty in keeping our resolutions may also stem from their magnitude. Forcing yourself to change too much is disheartening! This is also the best recipe for failure and living on guilt, further dampening our momentum. Most people have a hard time keeping their resolutions for more than a week, and only the most invested in stick to them for a month or two. But why do we abandon them so quickly? Are we all dropouts? Not at all.
The problem is, most people make resolutions that are too general or too un-personal, like "eat better," "exercise," or "enjoy life more." It's difficult to achieve goals when they are not precise and reflect our intrinsic needs. The secret to keeping your resolutions is to set simple, straightforward, realistic goals that give us joy. It won't work if you take a resolution that you don't really care about or force yourself to do it. Unable to keep your resolutions? It's because you might not be taking the right ones. Here are the 10 resolutions that are easy to stick to. 1- Cook more and get back in touch with a healthy and varied diet!
A favorite resolution many people use each year to improve their diet. We know that many also want to lose weight. Considering all the Christmas meals and desserts that can titillate our relationship to our body image, this is not surprising. No, there is no silver bullet or magic pill for weight loss. Additionally, we are not equal in dieting without even addressing that it can be overwhelming for many to read articles promoting weight loss each January. Phew, glossophobia (the fear of social situations) is unfortunately not eradicated. Rather than imposing a diet on yourself, we suggest you reconnect to your diet, cook more, dare to try new recipes, new flavors, and incorporate a variety of foods into your meals. It's a feasible resolution focused on sensorial fun! This is an opportunity to eat more fresh food and rediscover the pleasure of creating your own feast. 2- Get up from the couch.
I draw your attention to the title of that easy resolution: Getting up from the couch. The resolution here is not to "hit the gym 5 times a week", "get those abs," or "run a marathon." No, this is not an unrealistic doomed resolution. It's not about setting unattainable goals and becoming bitter about not achieving them. It's not about pushing yourself on something you hate and ultimately being more depressed than proud of yourself. The resolution here is to be less passive, even a little bit. Every movement counts! In short, it's about moving a little more, it's doing an activity that you really love, it's going to take more small steps to do yourself some good to your mind.
Even if you don't like the outdoors, it's a proven fact that connecting with nature reduces stress. So take a hike (or even a stroll), watch a sunrise or sunset with someone you love, or take that extra lap around the park with your dog. The fresh air will do you well!. Our goals must remain simple, doable, and why not also fun! Moreover, with a friend, it's often better! 3- Live Interaction Rather Than Virtual Interaction
Technologies can make our lives easier, just as they can sometimes make us worse. The contradiction of our time is that we are more "connected" than ever before, but most of the time, we are connected virtually, perhaps not as authentically as we would like. Do you miss an interlocutor's tone of voice, gestures, attitude, and human warmth? Meet more people instead of texting them, go to your friends and family rather than looking at their Instagram page to hear from them, shut down your cellphone when eating for more convivial meals! Open your calendar and plan a few happy hours with the people whose company you enjoy! 4- Make a "to-do list" every day (or almost)
Yes, getting better organized is a lifelong job ... And that's okay! Making to-do lists is efficient because it makes us more organized, and it only takes a few minutes to write it. As a bonus, you get a slight sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Remember, keep it simple!
The list should not be too long or contain illusory items such as "potty train the dog by the end of the day" or "repaint the whole house." You should write down tasks that get completed within the time you have; otherwise, you will get discouraged and revert to your bad habit of putting everything off until tomorrow. You can even make two to-do lists as needed: one for your personal life and one for work. 5- Make peace
Who do you want to make peace with? This year, we forgive or apologize to the people we miss. Life is too short to stay angry with your loved ones. Do it now. It's a great way to start the year on a positive note. In addition, it frees up so much! Take responsibility for your mistakes and admit that sometimes others can too. Apologize sincerely for what you have done and forgive those who have harmed you. Obviously, this suggestion does not apply if you have left toxic or dangerous situations. 6- Overcome fear or two!
Whether it's failure, love, or spiders, we all have a fear that haunts us and sometimes prevents us from moving forward. For example, someone who has always aspired to go into business may literally miss their dream for fear of failing. Someone who seeks love may voluntarily refrain from engaging in a romantic relationship for fear of one day being hurt. Someone afraid of flying, you see my point... Take your courage in hand, take a deep breath, and brave the obstacles that put you off. Let me ask you this cliché question: If you were to die now, would you have accomplished everything you wanted? If the answer is no because fear is preventing you from thriving, this year is the year to put an end to that fear. In today's world, you have an app for everything, from the comfort of your home, talk to a mental health specialist about your worries, unload them, you will feel slightly better, as it takes time to overcome them...baby steps! 7- Money
Was money a significant source of stress for you in the past year? Probably many of us will answer yes. Now is the time to save. But saving isn't just about saving money. And it's also about avoiding unnecessary spending and impulse buying. The secret is to control yourself and question yourself before every purchase, however trivial it may be. "Although it was a $25 discount, am I really going to wear these pants? "(Which is probably the reason why it was only $25)," "Is it reasonable to buy three boxes of cookies just because the third is half the price? These questions will save you more money than you think. 8- Learn something new
Whether you are in school or not, you should never stop learning. There is so much to discover at your fingertips. Today, with the Internet, the museums, the courses offered, and all the documentation available, all it takes is a little willpower to access knowledge and learn what one wants!
Go according to your interests and go for something that stimulates you; always wanted to learn a new language? Interested in taking business classes, karate, graphic design, or ancient history lessons? You don't have to be talented in whatever activity you choose, and you are there to learn and develop new skills. Whether you're taking a class or reading a book, you'll quickly find that learning something new is definitely one of the most motivating and easy-to-stick resolutions! I personally follow the TED Talks or MasterClass. 9- Go back to childhood and have more fun.
Well, that's an easy resolution, isn't it? A resolution doesn't have to sound like an overwhelming challenge; on the contrary! Going back to childhood brings simplicity back into your daily life. It's not always about taking yourself seriously, but more about taking life with a grain of salt. If this description seems vague to you, going back to childhood also means splurging: dancing in the rain, snorkeling, fishing, snowballs fight, eating candy to make your stomach ache… In short, it's getting out of reality. And just do sometimes something that makes you really happy. I'm repeating myself, but enjoy the moment! 10- Dare!
Come out of your shell and dare! Dare a bold new fashion trend that appeals to you; bright colors, extravagant hats, a daring haircut… and do it with confidence! Dare to ask the phone number of the person you are interested in. You might be surprised at how things turned out. Dare to cry if you are upset. It feels good to express your emotions! Dare to change jobs if you don't like yours. Your good salary shouldn't keep you from being happy. Dare to send a second text message in a row to the person who does not answer you; you don't deserve to be ignored! In short, this year, we assert ourselves, trust each other, and take action to bring more joy to everyday life. We only have one life to live, and now is the time! I would like to conclude by bringing a frequent double standard to your attention. When the countdown ends and 2021 is officially over, what will you say to your loved ones? You will probably wish them a happy new year filled with health and love. In short, you will offer them simple, essential-oriented benevolent wishes. Why not give yourself that same sweetness instead of taking oaths of performance? Small steps... I leave you with this reflection ... And wish you a year 2022 filled with moments that will make you smile when you rock in your retirement home. Because it's those memories that really matter.