How’s the New Year’s resolution coming along? Not so great, you say?
You’re not alone.
This is about the time the frustration sets in and the giving up begins, according to researchers.
Approximately 50 percent of the population makes a resolution to start the new year. Jan. 1 signifies a new beginning. We start the year with super hero-sized powers to do things differently than the year before. There’s a special kind of energy that comes with a chance for change.
Yet, a mere 8 percent actually keep these resolutions. Researchers believe this low-result number can happen for a few reasons.
We might make a resolution to completely reinvent ourselves — new image, more do-good actions, fewer bad habits — but the process is just too much transformation at once, and we decide we’re not really prepared to change our habits after all.
Or, we see some changes in action, but they’re not bringing the results we expected. We might have resolved to exercise more, spend less, believing our lives would drastically change for the better. When our lives don’t feel all that much better, though, we give up and go back to our old ways.
Our intentions are always good, but the pressure to perform is more than most of us can handle.
So what’s the secret for that 8 percent?
Researchers believe a New Year’s reset is a better option than a resolution. What’s the difference?
According to Dr. Roberta Anding, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something, yet a reset allows us to “set again” — and again, if necessary. This way, we can set a goal and work toward it with small changes each day. This idea of gradually progressing to the end result could keep us in the game past mid-January and set us squarely among the 8 percent.
In addition, Anding says, the reset offers the flexibility to alter the goal — or the steps to attain it — if the original plan isn’t working well.
A reset could also provide an opportunity to make changes in different ways — even nearly three weeks into the new year.
One option gaining in popularity is to reset with a New Year’s word, one that defines a value or idea by which you would like to live. Put the word on a Post-it and stick it to the medicine cabinet. Make it your screen saver. Say it out loud.
This New Year’s idea is so popular, in fact, that there’s a website dedicated to it. Myoneword.org, created by pastor and author Mike Ashcraft, invites viewers to take a simple challenge — “Lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick one word.
“This process provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus — just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future,” Ashcraft says.
Viewers can post their chosen words on the site as well. A few scrolling on the screen last week: Joy. Progress. Hopeful. Strong. Balanced.
I would choose Breathe — being conscious of taking a moment to relax, stop and think, and then react or respond.
So, let’s reset and do 2018 a little differently.
What word will you choose?