While many of us have long since given up on making New Year’s Resolutions, a good chunk of people still hold true to the idea that January 1 signals a time to make drastic changes in one’s life. The idea of having a set time to start implementing more positive actions and goals is a great way to get motivated, but often having the pressure to accomplish such change in a certain amount of time guarantees failure. Here we’ve listed a few of the most common resolutions people make at this time of year and how to alter goals to make them more within reach.
- “I resolve to find a better job.”
This fairly common goal suffers from a few downfalls, not the least of which is a still recovering economy that does not allow everyone the opportunity to leave their current jobs. Another problem with this goal, however, is the vague definition of “better.” Does a better job mean one that pays more, one that makes you feel more fulfilled or one that allows you more time for family? Maybe the key to finding happiness in your career involves going back to school first, or maybe ditching your current line of work completely and trying something you never thought you would. The first step in achieving this goal is to figure out what a “better job” means to you, otherwise six months into your new job, you may just be ready for another “better” one.
- “I resolve to make more time for friends and family this year.”
While this is a wonderful sentiment, the fact is that we all tend to lead busy lives. It’s great to have keeping in touch in mind as a goal, but rather than generalizing this statement toward all acquaintances, try focusing on a few loved ones who have been particularly out of the loop lately. Maybe there was an aunt you were close to as a kid but have lost touch with into adulthood, or maybe you had a best friend who got you through some hard times, but distance has kept you apart. Focus on the people who come to mind as being important in your life, and by all means, step away from the computer and pick up a phone as much as possible; make the contact more meaningful.
- “I resolve to be more involved with charity.”
Dedicating your life to giving is great. Some people are able to help others daily with their jobs, and others devote much of their free time to philanthropic efforts and volunteer work. The problem with resolving to “get more involved” (as many people do) is that it is always countered with the question, “With what?” Finding not only a specific cause but a specific charity or service is one easy way to get started on this goal immediately. Passionate about spreading literacy? Head to the library and ask about programs in need of literacy tutors. Want to help create housing for families in need? Call Habitat for Humanity and find out when their next build is. Most organizations need help constantly, and will welcome new volunteers with open arms.
- Pretty much anything related to health and fitness
Whether you have resolved to eat better, exercise more or start a new diet, most resolutions that have to do with your health and weight are likely to fall through before February. That’s not to say that focusing on fitness isn’t a great goal, but maybe eliminating timelines and broad statements like “eating more vegetables” is the first step in becoming healthier overall. Don’t aim for six-pack abs by Valentine’s Day. Instead, try reminding yourself of a goal that is flexible and more in your control, like resolving to find more exercises to tone your legs, or making sure at least one meal a day consists of mostly raw veggies.
- “I resolve to enjoy life more.”
Yet another great sentiment, but what exactly does it mean? Are you a workaholic who needs to slow down and maybe taking yoga will help you accomplish that? Do you want to drink less in order to remember the good times you have, or maybe you’ve been a hermit who wants to go out and party more this year? We all have such widely varying things we need to do in order to get more out of life; any one of the resolutions on this list could be the key to living happier. The first step is surely to figure what you’re missing or needing, which is no easy task. But hey, maybe just figuring it out is a big enough goal to accomplish for one year.