The way we prepare for new beginnings such as a first job interview or meeting a significant other’s folks for the first time is somewhat similar to how we prepare for the New Year. It’s as if the first day of the year will dictate how the rest of our year will go.
Most of us feel the need to shed off old skin, and be reborn into a better version of ourselves. I stopped making a list of resolutions a couple of years ago, primarily because my inability to accomplish them in the past frustrated me so much. This year, push came to shove and I felt the need to not stagnate, and instead evolve into something better. What better way to do that than lay down specific goals to accomplish? Or in this case, since it’s the New Year, my very own set of resolutions.
How exactly does one dive back into it? Most of the people I talked to said “yes, I do have New Year’s resolutions” followed with “but I don’t really follow them” or “it only lasted until the end of January.” But those who followed through have some inspiring advice. One of my siblings for example, inspired by the movie Yes Man, decided to say yes more often as part of her New Year resolution. After seven years, it became clockwork for her. One year, to my amusement, she was vaulting off ledges because she decided to learn a parkour. In the same year she passed her Japanese Learning Proficiency Test (JLPT).
It’s never too late to start preparing for the new year. With these tips, you can proudly say that change is coming. Here’s what you can do to actually stick to the change you want to see in yourself in the coming new year.
Tip #1: Make a list
The most important part in having these goals is to remember that they exist in the first place. Jot them down, and keep track of them. Plaster them on a wall like you would do so to a poster of your favorite boy band.
Tip #2: Check it twice
A common problem faced when it comes to New Year’s resolutions is that people feel invincible at the start of the year, as if a new trip around the sun instantly makes them a better person. Know that a new year doesn’t necessarily equate to a new you unless you really act on it. You have to know yourself and your limitations. If you’ve been doing this for a while now to no avail, take a look at your past resolutions. What were you able to stick to and what didn’t work? Take those things into account when making your new list for the next year. For example, if you made it a point to read at least 10 books this year, having accomplished that goal will allow you to take it up a notch to 15 or 20. On the other hand, if you only made it to 5 this year it would be wise to stick with the 10 books first.
Tip #3: It’s no use going cold turkey
They say it’s almost impossible to go cold turkey when quitting smoking. You need to ease into it by slowly reducing the number of sticks you smoke everyday. Apply the same concept to your resolutions. Don’t make it too complicated, and don’t expect change overnight. Remember, Carly Rae Jepsen didn’t go from one-hit wonder to Queen of Everything in a day.
Tip #4: Be realistic
Going to the gym everyday may be easy for The Rock, but not all of us are WWE wrestlers or demigods by default. If you know for a fact that your fitness level is like Tina’s from Bob’s Burgers, this resolution is not going to work. If the goal is to ease out of that sedentary lifestyle, a better alternative would be weekly capoeira lessons by Jairo or Jane Fonda’s instructional workout DVDs. Eventually those weekly commitments will make it easier to incorporate exercise as a daily part of your routine. Set realistic goals, start small or be general. Commit to 2-3 goals per year depending on what you’re comfortable with.
Tip #5: Create a start, stop, and continue list
To make things simpler, categorize. It stays true to its name. Start committing to change with new goals you haven’t tried before; stop stagnating by completely cutting out bad habits; and continue doing what worked out for you.
Reading more books
Saving your 5-peso coins
Biting your nails
Being 100 (basically, anything you did in 2016 that you’d like to continue next year)
Tip #6: Accountability is #majorkey
If you need an extra push to commit to your list, get someone else on that resolution train. You can set bets for each day you’re late for a meeting or missing a day at the gym. It’s harder to cheat the process when someone else is keeping track.
With that said, it’s time to sit down with yourself and think of how you want to better yourself next year. Now go on and conquer 2017.