It’s no secret that most of us have a little — how should we put this gently — trouble sticking to our New Year’s resolutions. And by that we mean, most of us fall off the bandwagon around noon on January 1st.
We accept this reality so readily, New Year’s Resolutions are often a punchline we write ourselves. And yet we still write them — oftentimes, the same ones year after year. They’re kind of like that ugly sweater that keeps surviving your closet culls: maybe this year will be the year you finally wear it!
Still, it’s not time to throw in the towel on resolutions just yet. Rather, it’s time to write better resolutions in the first place — and we’re going to do it by axing the following resolution types, replacing them instead with resolutions that are far more achievable.
5 Resolution Types to Fire This Year
1. The Overly Ambitious
Overly ambitious resolutions sound something like this:
“This year, I will travel to at least fifty countries, run three marathons, and find the love of my life. Resolved!”
Sometimes these resolutions are bundled into a neat little package like the above, or they’re resolved separately. They’re easy to make, because they make us feel like things are sure to look up this year, and that we may even be fundamentally different people — more like the people we see in movies or read about in our (mostly overinflated) social media feeds
But here’s the thing: getting overly ambitious with your resolutions is just setting yourself up for failure, especially when some of your resolutions are largely outside of your immediate control (see: finding the love of your life). When you strive so high that you leave reality on the ground while you catapult into outer space, you’ll only feel bad about yourself when you don’t achieve your goals, and you’re likely to ignore the many amazing things you do manage to accomplish, just because they’re not stratospheric.
Simmer it on down now. Of course, resolutions should be challenging — that’s part of what makes them motivating, new, and excellent sources for growth. Just scale it down a bit, and make those goals as concrete as possible. Rather than resolving to travel to 50 countries, resolve to travel to three and to, say, become an English language tutor so you can meet people from around the world. Rather than resolving to run three marathons when you have yet to run a 10K, resolve to run one. And rather than resolving to meet the love of your life, spend some time doing a little self-reflection, and hey, maybe join a dating app. This still keeps you working towards similar excellent goals, but when you actually have a shot at achieving them, you’ll be far more likely to get there in the end.
2. The “I Forgot Who I Am”
If you hate heights but have resolved to learn how to rock climb, bungee jump, and skydive, you may again be setting yourself up for failure.
That said, resolutions like this can encourage you to confront your fears head on and can get you out of your comfort zone. But again, it’s probably best not to overwhelm yourself with too many “opposite of who I am” goals at once. Instead of all three of these goals, choose one and concentrate on achieving it. In addition, choose other goals that are a little bit more in sync with who you are. In other words, be kinder to yourself.
3. The “For a Limited Time Only!”
Whether you’ve resolved to write an entire book by January 15th or you’re sure you can lose twenty pounds by February, it’s never helpful to pick artificially intense timelines. Why rush it? You’ve got all year, after all. Again, resolutions should light a fire under you, but not such a big one that you burn up in it.
Before you attach a timeline to your resolution, sit down and think hard about how long that resolution will really take you to achieve. Even if you’re dedicated to a new diet and exercise routine, it’s not healthy to lose more than a few pounds a week, and chances are you will eventually plateau at some point, requiring new strategizing to get you back on track. And books? Yeah, they take some time to write. Do a little research before you set your due dates.
4. The Kind That Won’t Actually Make You Happier
Sure, we’d all like to be billionaires like Zuck, but if doing so means spending the majority of your waking hours away from your friends and family, a resolution to make more money may not be as great for your life as you think it will be.
When making your resolutions, think deeply about why you’re making them — and whether or not they’re coming from a healthy place. Instead of going for all or none resolutions, think of those that are more of a compromise. When you resolve to get richer, for instance, you may actually have a healthy and real need for more cash in your life, or to feel like you’re going somewhere at work. Rather than focusing exclusively on salary or a raise, aim instead to work better with colleagues, pitch a creative project that you consider risky and, when the time comes, ask for what you deserve.
5. The “Gotta Be a Bodybuilder”: Tiny Legs, Huge Upper Body
Let’s be honest here: the majority of our resolutions have to do with health. That’s a great thing in theory, except that this type of resolution often leads us to commit every one of the resolution sins we’ve explored so far. They’re overambitious, they don’t take into consideration your personal psychology, they come with ridiculous time limits, and they’re often done for the wrong reasons, which means you won’t actually be that much happier when they come true. And what’s most bizarre? So many of these health resolutions are so narrow in their thinking! They focus entirely on running and lifting and Cross Fitting, but they ignore many crucial things that would make us healthier in a much more achievable way. They’re like a bodybuilder with tiny legs and a huge upper body.
For example, it’s easy to resolve to run five miles a day and drink a seaweed smoothie (well, for some people it is — if they have a poor gag reflex), and yet these are the same people who will run right to the office and slump down in their chair, typing on a flat keyboard, increasing their risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries, and metabolic disorders along the way. What gives?
Health shouldn’t stop at the office door. Instead, we should view our health in a more holistic manner. Sure, it’s great to run in the morning, but this year, resolve not to undo that morning run by sitting all day. Instead, try working at a standing desk to keep that metabolism high and your blood flowing. Rather than typing on a flat keyboard, which forces your hands to splay to the side and increases your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, work on a tented, adjustable Goldtouch keyboard, which fits to your body and to your typing style. Add a monitor arm or tablet and laptop stand to your desk to keep your neck in a neutral position, and you’ll have everything you need to stay healthy both in the office this year — which will keep you healthy outside of the office too.
We’re continuing our New Year’s Resolution series next week, so keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime, browse the Goldtouch store for more products that can help you keep your health resolutions this year.