Opinion

How to ‘New Year, New You’ in 2021

Developing new mindsets and strategies to slowly but steadily reach New Year’s resolutions

Opinion of Jennie Sherwood

For most people, their New Year’s resolutions unfortunately never work out. Don’t get me wrong, some still manage to successfully reach their goals, and that’s great for them. Whether it be the classic weight loss goal, developing a healthier lifestyle, or being more organized, there is still a high amount of people who maintain motivation enough to see the results they want. If you’ve never been one of these people, though, no need to worry. According to Forbes Media from 2018, less than 25 percent of people stay committed to their resolutions after 30 days, and only 8 percent actually accomplish them.

So here we go; the struggle of motivation is coming back yet again. Luckily, there are some strategies to help implement a goal into a daily routine in order to turn it into a true habit.

Tip one: start out by doing simpler, quicker things that bring you toward your resolution goal every day. This way is more realistic, which can lead to better success. New habits aren’t hard to ease into if they are so simple that they are impossible to fail. For example, if it’s the goal to read more, start out by reading only three pages a day. If the goal is to incorporate more exercise into your routine, begin with five push-ups or one set of 15 jump squats a day. Once those simple tasks become a habit, start to increase the amount of what you’re doing.

Tip Two: think about adding just 1 percent of your task per day. Forbes Media suggests that by doing that, people tend to improve each habit about 37 percent after a year of doing it. That’s more than one third.

Tip Three: rewards go a long way. A study done by Iowa State University shows that consuming a small amount of chocolate post-workout, for example, releases similar chemicals and neurotransmitters to those that will eventually be released by the workout itself. That reward could maybe include a 10-minute TikTok break built in to the day after a task is completed. Maybe it’s treating yourself to an iced coffee right before you set out to implement a new habit into your day. Just try to do whatever works, and whatever motivates you in order to succeed in completing your New Year’s resolution.

Now you might be wanting to say to me, “Jennie, I don’t know if I’ll take your word for it if you haven’t tried these strategies yourself. Have you?”

My answer would be that I haven’t tried them as a specific New Year’s resolution yet, but I’ve still been trying to implement new habits and set new goals for myself throughout this past year. Just simple goals like making time to play the piano at least three times a week, writing part of a story for 10-minutes each night, and continuing to improve the intensity of my workouts.

The reality is that the more often you do something, the easier and the more comfortable you will feel doing it. Don’t start big. Ease into it.

Though you might want your 2021 New Year’s resolution to succeed as soon as possible, the way to give this new year a new you is to be realistic and honest with yourself. Let’s try to increase the success rate from 8 percent. I believe in us.

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