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New Year’s resolutions are meant to be broken is a favorite one-liner of those who fail to keep their resolution. But experts suggest us that keeping a resolution is not a big deal if we are realistic. Here are a few resolution pitfalls to avoid:
People tend to choose a resolution like, “I am going to lose weight” or “I am going to write a novel.” But experts term these resolutions as vague and realistic. The key to resolving this is to simply lose weight, make a goal to lose 1 lb. a month. Or instead of writing a novel, try to write 1,000 words a week.
2. Lack of accountability
When a goal is too abstract, it can also be hard to be accountable for meeting it. We can lie to ourselves, but we can’t lie to others. Some apps, like MapMyRun and Weight Watchers Mobile, allow us to track progress for activities like fitness and eating. Some will even send us reminders to keep us on track, which can be helpful when your motivation starts to flag.
3. Only setting goals on New Year’s Eve
Research shows setting goals can make people happier and more satisfied. Setting such targets just once a year, however, can be self-defeating. So set smaller goals more frequently during the year instead of singular, lofty ones. Pick a goal for each month.
4. Forgetting that you can’t control everything
Many people make their New Year’s resolution to get a raise at work. While that’s a positive goal, it requires the compliance of other people and involves other factors, such as a company’s finances and the state of the financial markets that may be entirely out of our control.
5. Choosing hard goals over the holidays like quitting smoking
Things that involve chemical dependence are very difficult to quit. It can’t be done with sheer willpower. New Year’s Eve may not be the best time to set the goal because of all the stress. When it comes to things like this, we need support from family and doctors.
6. Relying on willpower
The biggest misconception about resolutions is that meeting them is all about willpower. Our ability to exert self-control is limited, so we fatigue very quickly. Sometimes just after 15 minutes. When you’re reaching for a very difficult goal, we’re wearing out the self-control muscle.
“Resolve to meet a resolution and go for it.”