Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What I Think of New Year’s Resolutions

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Seven paper airplanes are flying over a dark grey surface. The first six are white and flying in straight perpendicular lines. You can see white lines shooting out behind them. The seventh is read and flying in a zig-zag line with a white zig-zag line trailing behind it. I believe New Year’s Resolutions, as well as goal setting activities in general, are a fabulous starting point.

In my experience, longterm change is most likely to happen when you set a goal, make incremental changes that guide you closer to it, and then gradually build on them over time instead of trying to fix all of your habits at once.

For example, an hour of vigorous exercise will be extremely difficult at best for someone who hasn’t exercised in years. They might be so sore or injured the next day they will be scared off from trying again.

A 10 minute walk every day (or every other day, or what have you) is a much easier goal to accomplish for someone in that position, and it can be gradually increased or replaced with more strenuous workouts as you grow stronger and figure out what other types of exercise you actually enjoy doing.

So I like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, but I think it’s better to keep your expectations reasonable when you’re trying to change something about yourself. Many incredible things are possible in life, but they rarely if ever  happen overnight.

I also believe in celebrating effort and partial success. If you didn’t reach your goal but you did make progress towards it and built up healthy habits along the way, that’s still counts as a win in my opinion.




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20 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What I Think of New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Great take on resolutions, Lydia! Keeping your expectations reasonable when trying to change habits and behaviours is a brilliant way of thinking about New Year’s resolutions. It can be so deflating when you decide you’re going to commit to something like eating healthier or having a better quality of sleep, and then you’re unable to see it through.

  2. I agree! Taking small steps one day at a time is better than leaping into whatever challenge you set for yourself.

  3. I remember reading somewhere to change ONE small thing a month (so that thing becomes a habit) before doing the next. IMHO folks set several difficult goals all at the same time, and they become impossible. Your way is certainly more sensible!

  4. I said something very similar to this to a friend yesterday. She was despairing of not meeting her goals. This is a very healthy outlook, honestly.

    My post.

  5. Hi Ms. Lydia!! I totally agree with keeping expectations reasonable! I made A LOT of plans this year, but they span the whole year and beyond. I am not even starting them all this month. I have some of the business ones I have started but for the most part, it’s best to focus on itty bitty baby steps! I know I have to, or I will never get any of those things done!

  6. I agree with your conclusion that any progress toward a resolution counts!

  7. Great thoughts all around! I also have come to appreciate celebrating partial successes, though I’ll admit that I used to have more of an “all or nothing” mindset. (It wasn’t healthy to maintain that viewpoint. I’m glad I grew out of it.)

  8. I love this approach: flexible goals and incremental successes are a great way to get something built over the long term.

  9. I agree that it’s best to start small – I had a friend once who used to set “write a book” as her resolution and, needless to say, it never got done because it was too huge a task. Being flexible is best.

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