The ancient Babylonians likely were the first to make New Years resolutions, and they were followed by ancient Romans. The resolutions were made to gods in hopes that they would bless them throughout the coming year. Today, about 40% of Americans make New Years resolutions, and of that group, about 40% keep their resolution for at least six months. While making these statements seems silly to some, there are psychological reasons that you may want to consider setting New Year’s resolutions this year.
Practice Setting Goals
The more goals you set, the better you become at keeping them. Therefore, the start of a new year is the perfect time to implement a new plan. As with all goals, keep it specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely so that you can measure how well you are doing in meeting your goal.
Time for Reflection
The time required to set a meaningful New Years resolution is time well invested because it causes you to slow down and evaluate where you are currently. Then, it encourages you to think about where you want to be in the future. Base your resolutions on getting from where you are to where you want to be in bite-size pieces.
Catalyst for Positive Change
You may already know what is not going right in your life, but it takes time and courage to change the things that are not working. Often, people get stuck in inaction because they are unsure what path they need to follow. The start of a new year is the perfect time to set a resolution that will require you to take some action. Numerous studies show that it is easier to alter your course than getting started.
Setting a goal broken down into small steps can be a great way to feel empowered. As you meet your expectations in one part, reward yourself, which will encourage you to keep working towards your goal. If you have never set a meaningful resolution before, meeting it this year may encourage you to develop an even bigger one next year.
Spend some time deciding on what resolution you will work towards in the coming year. Talking to someone can often help you sort through your thoughts. There are worksheets and other activities that professionals can provide you to help you set yourself up for success in meeting your New Years resolution this year.