New Year, New You?

Patrick Hall, Writer

Every year we watch the ball drop either in our living rooms with inebriated friends and family, at a party celebrating the last day of 2017, or with a box of tissues regretting all you didn’t, or did do in 2017.

The cliché resolutions are usually to live better, eat better, and exercise more all within an insanely short amount of time. But why not transcend the status quo? This year, start with small goals and work toward making your life better gradually–look at this year like a marathon instead of a sprint.

But, even as a marathon, we are still trying win the “race” of 2018. Remember that–do not rush, but do not give up easily, either. I know life is full of bumps and bruises, things happen and, when they do, achieving one’s resolutions can seem like a distant dream. However, push through.

To make things more attainable, also remember not to set so many goals that you’re overwhelmed–baby steps. And don’t let small failures break your path. Instead, let them fuel you to finish. With every year comes opportunities to develop, gain knowledge, and learn from the lessons the previous year has dished out.

Let 2018 be the year of optimism and progression. Unfortunately, the majority of resolutions fail and that’s because of a lackluster planning process and the exclusion method. The exclusion method is mostly used as people think that abruptly excluding something will improve their life.

While excluding bad food and bad habits is always great, what is the most effective is gradually reducing them. Changing how you are, how you act, and more won’t just change overnight. For the best success, simply start by slowing cutting them out of your life.

For example, if you want to stop eating red meat, instead of excluding it all together, limit yourself every month and watch the habit surely end. Gradually reducing helps smokers wanting to quit, people weaning off of junk food, and other bad habits.

As January does symbolize the opportunity to reset for people, it does not mean an end to all things 2017, but instead allows for the past year to mold a person’s learning course for 2018 and beyond.

Need some tips on making your resolution last? Try these:

  • Set practical, tangible goals that will be inspiring to you.
  • Tell your friends about your goals and hear theirs also to establish accountability.
  • Always remember to make recovery time and self-care a priority–it will help to make your willpower as durable as needed.
  • Believe in your goals (the obtainable ones).
  • Gradual reductions are key to quitting anything, and one month can be that pivotal starting point.
  • Post your progress to social media. In an era of technology, you’d be surprised how many people would love to see a beloved friend lose 40 pounds or quit smoking within a year’s time.

Every year has its word or phrase that epitomizes the year. This year, that word for me was “durability.” Through all the adversity I faced, I found joy in every part of this year and made it through. Everyone has a different way to describe 2017, now the job for you is to describe it and see what you can change for the better this year.