New Years resolutions are a concept we are all familiar with. With the beginning of a New Year, many of us designate some goals we would like to achieve in the turning of the calendar year, some common examples being to eat healthier, exercise more, giving up something unhealthy or trying to kick a bad habit.
I’ve never really been one to make resolutions for the New Year myself. I’ve tried once or twice, but ended up losing my motivation and patience with my resolution and tossed it aside without second-thought. And I think a lot of people can relate to my own experiences with New Year’s resolutions, hence why they aren’t as popular as they used to be.
As it turns out, it is recommended to forget about our typical resolutions in an attempt to improve our overall happiness, says an article from The Good News Network.
“Any motivational researcher would have ‘ambivalent feelings’ about New Year’s resolutions, says Richard Ryan, an international expert on motivational research and professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Rochester. ‘The evidence shows that most of the time people aren’t successful at them.’
“Ryan, who is also a clinical psychologist, says that any occasion that gives us an opportunity to reflect on our lives is ultimately a good thing. It doesn’t have to be on New Year’s. ‘Whenever that happens, if it’s really a reflective change—something that you put your heart behind—that can be good for people.’
“And he has another tip: what proves most satisfying, and may also be what’s most needed as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, are goals that involve giving to others.
“‘Think of how you can help,’ says Ryan. ‘There’s a lot of distress out there: If we can set goals that aim to help others, those kinds of goals will, in turn, also add to our own well-being,'” the article says.
Rather than setting goals we likely won’t achieve, perhaps we should consider Ryan’s advice this year, instead.