Before you let those figures depress you out of making any resolutions for the upcoming year, consider that there are many reasons New Year's resolutions fail so consistently. One is that resolutions don't tend to be well-thought-out goals. For example, someone might say they'll lose weight or get in shape in the new year, but what does that even mean? A more achievable and stronger goal is to state that you'll lose 10 pounds in the first quarter, because that gives you a realistic, measurable goal to shoot for.
Another reason these types of resolutions don't tend to succeed is that they're poorly timed for many people. At the height of the cold months and coming off the holiday season, many people are tired, and some may be dealing with seasonal depression or other challenges. Setting challenging goals at a time when you really want to cuddle up by the fire until warmer, sunnier months arrive may not be an ideal option.
If you enjoy the tradition of making New Year's resolutions but recognize that some of these challenges stop you from achieving them, consider another option this year. Instead of looking to physical health or financial wellness for goals, think about what might be fun to accomplish. If you're excited about a fun goal, you're more likely to work toward it, even when cold weather or seasonal challenges arrive. Achieving a fun goal early on in the year can motivate you to work toward other goals, including those common health or financial objectives.
Your resolution doesn't have to be serious. Sure, there's a long tradition of making goals to improve yourself. But having fun and investing in a vibrant lifestyle, even one tiny goal at a time, can help you improve your overall outlook and approach to each day.
Think about how you want to spend the next year — or just the next few months. Then, consider what you think would be fun and enjoyable and create a New Year's resolution that supports your desires. Here are a few examples for inspiration.
Perhaps you want to invest in your community or stay in better touch with loved ones in the new year. While that seems simple, it's easy to get caught up in life and realize you've gone weeks without speaking to a special someone. Consider making a goal to call and check in with someone once a week, even if only for a few minutes.
Your goal can also be self-care related in a fun way. Perhaps you're tired of your tried-and-true capsule wardrobe and you're ready to replace most of it. Making this your New Year's resolution can allow you to approach the project over the long term, replacing one or two items a month. That spreads the expense over an entire year and gives you something fun to do each month by shopping for a new piece.
Perhaps the next year holds a new hobby or something else you can learn. Here's a tip for making it fun and boosting your chances of success: Don't make a goal about mastering a hobby. It's easier to enjoy the adventure when you simply want to engage in a new hobby on a regular basis and aren't putting pressure on yourself for specific outcomes.
If you live in an assisted living community, such Broadmoor Court in Colorado Springs, CO, consider checking the activity calendar to see if there are hobby classes or activities you can join for inspiration. You might also research options offered by local senior community centers and libraries, because learning a new hobby alongside others increases your chances of sticking with it.
Numerous studies have shown that gratitude habits can lead to positive mental health outcomes, such as feeling happier overall. This is an easy one to accomplish because you can customize it for your personality.
You might create a gratitude journal and try to write one sentence about things you're thankful for each day. You could make an appreciation whiteboard where you list things you're thankful for throughout the week, reflect on them at the end of the week and erase them to start over the next week. Or you could simply make it a point to offer a sincere thank you to someone every week.
If you want a physical wellness goal that isn't stressful, consider taking literal small steps. Start with something like 2,500 steps a day and add 10 more each day. By the end of the year, you'll be walking more than 6,000 steps a day, and all you really need to add each day is a quick lap around your dining table or living room.