Realistic New Years Resolutions

Dr. Linsay Irwin gets realistic this January when it comes to New Years Resolutions:

Oh yes – it is that time of year. The time when many people are contemplating their life choices and deciding whether they have been naughty or nice.

New Year’s resolutions tend to fail for a number of reasons. My suggestion this year is to take some time to consider what is working well in your life, what you are proud of and what you are dreaming of moving into 2022 and beyond.  This time of year aligns nicely with introspection and I suggest you do a little of that. It is easy for many to pick out what is not working or what they don’t want – why not think: what DO I want?

Then – if you have something that you are excited about – go for it. If the thought brings up shame, stress or frustration over previous failed attempts – perhaps look at it differently this time. What can you do to achieve this goal that you have never done before? Is there something that challenges you and perhaps pushes you out of your comfort zone? Perfect! Get some skin in the game, do the scary thing, and don’t repeat the same self-fulfilling attempts.

Here are some examples:

1. You want to get more sleep and/or go to bed earlier. If you have told yourself you would do this in the past and perhaps for a day or two it worked – make a new habit that will crowd out the things that were obstacles for you. Here is one suggestion – Set a time that you would like to be in bed. Let’s say it is 10:30 pm. Decide that at 9 pm every night you will get off of all screens (cutting out blue light from screens will help your melatonin levels so you have a fighting chance to fall asleep) and start your nighttime routine. This means no more mindless television viewing or internet scrolling as that involves a screen. If you can’t do that then start a new habit like reading a book, doing some stretching – whatever works. You could use a timer or an app that reminds you to do this. Make it something that makes the transition into bedtime easy.

2. You want to drink less alcohol. One idea (as radical as it may sound to some) – stop buying alcohol and having it in your house. That will likely cut back on alcohol consumption. It may sound extreme but this is in the spirit of doing something completely different this time around.

3. You want to start exercising. Don’t just think it – do it. Sign up for a class or an app or something that holds you accountable. If you really need it – book some sessions with a trainer or at a gym so it is an appointment you have to keep.  

You don’t need New Year’s to propel you into this resolution/goal cycle – you can do that anytime. Feel what is true for you right now and that is perfect. 

You are worthy of feeling good! 

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