Ditch New Year’s resolutions in 2023 and learn how to create sustainable goals

The only resolution you need this year

The only resolution you need this year

Sasha Zahler, Columnist

As we enter 2023, a common tradition is making New Year’s resolutions. Statistics show that among US citizens only 9% are known to actually uphold those resolutions. So essentially there is no point in making resolutions.

Creating a list of complaints about yourself and your lifestyle can be detrimental on someone’s physical and mental health. The list of expectations that are commonly made in the New Year can create an extreme amount of pressure that ultimately sets a person up for failure.

Although these lists are generally simple things that are logical to fix such as drinking more water or waking up five minutes earlier, lots of people choose more challenging resolutions. In fact, 2022 statistics have shown that 20% of US citizens’ resolutions are to lose weight. This goal can be more challenging because if someone has a generally stagnant lifestyle and is used to eating unhealthy food then it can be much more difficult to make this abrupt life change.

A common resolution that sets people up for failure can be something along the lines of “I will work out five days starting in the New Year.” Language like this can be counterproductive because when Jan. 5 comes around, and individuals don’t have the time to work out, they might feel a sense of failure, frustration or disappointment making it harder to start again.

More importantly it is critical to dissect why New Year’s resolutions are so hard to upkeep. When making a resolution you are creating a statement that is essentially just lines of wishes that have no actual commitment. For example if an individual’s statement is “I would like to spend more time with my family,” this statement is already creating an issue because you would be relying on someone else to uphold your own goals. A relationship doesn’t work if the other person doesn’t commit, so if this is your resolution then there is a higher chance of it failing due to the lack of commitment through the other person or your individual self.

Furthermore, even if this statement is upheld and time is spent with family members, it is also important to address why you weren’t seeing the family members in the first place. In order to create a long lasting change it is paramount that a substantial amount of self observation is completed to actually curate a plan that is realistic and suitable for the individual’s best needs.

So if you are looking to create significant changes in your life but you don’t want to self sabotage-instead of making shallow resolutions-create a plan that is realistic and logical. Additionally, if your goal is to create a healthier lifestyle, start with small steps and don’t expect to see changes in two weeks.

It is essential to be specific with your goal because a broad goal can have too much room to fail and then ultimately make it easier to disappoint yourself. The next step to take would be to create an achievable goal. If your goal is to cut meat out of your diet but the only food you like is meat, instead of cutting cold turkey, you need to expect to slowly decrease your meat intake and find alternatives that you like just as much.

When creating a life change it should be after a period of self reflection so you are able to create a goal that you are confident that you want complete. So this goal should be something you are fully capable of achieving, it is also helpful to write down this goal so you are able to cross it off.

Sometimes making a mental note of something isn’t enough. Physically crossing off a written goal gives individuals satisfaction. There are studies that have shown that a brain to hand relationship, that says writing down a goal plants in an individual’s brain and then that goal manifests itself and creates a higher level of success.

Ultimately, creating goals can be positive but individuals should be cautious of making resolutions that are untimely, unsustainable and unrealistic. To create a long lasting change can be very difficult but not impossible, so make sure when setting goals for yourself you are looking out for your best interests.