As the end of the year approaches, we will soon be welcoming in the new year of 2024. As most people do with the new year, you may be thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions or goals. These may be goals to sharpen your vocabulary, connect with loved ones more, or focus on your health. Before you set resolutions, we want to offer some pointers to help make your goals more attainable.

Make Your Resolutions Realistic and Flexible

Many times, people place unrealistic goals on themselves. An example would be stating “I’m going to go to the gym every day, Monday through Friday after work.” They usually find themselves falling off two to three weeks in. This says nothing about your willingness to accomplish your goals. It doesn’t mean that you are lazy, but rather you set high expectations that are hard to follow through with. Instead of giving yourself hard numbers to meet your goal, give yourself more flexibility by providing a range of the frequency.

This could look like a goal to go to the gym 3-5 times a week. It could also look like aiming to go to the gym more often with a goal of moving your body 4-6 times a week. By giving yourself a range and more options, you are giving yourself more flexibility to meet the goal.

Focus on Actions Rather than Appearances

Common New Year’s Resolutions may be “I want to lose X pounds before the end of the year” or “I want to be a size X by the summer months.” Goals like this can be harmful rather than helpful, especially if you are currently or have struggled with disordered eating.

Many of these resolutions don’t encompass your health as a whole and focus only on physical appearance. Consider goals like:

  • Incorporating at least one plant-based meal per week to increase my fiber intake
  • Increasing servings of fruits and vegetables to at least 3-4 times daily
  • Taking your dog for a walk more often
  • Try new kickboxing class

These goals will increase your awareness and overall health without measuring what’s on the scale.

Give Yourself Grace

With any change to our life, there is an adjustment until we create our new routine. Sometimes that new routine may not fall into place as perfectly as we anticipated. As the new year rolls around, remember to give yourself a grace period (or multiple) because change can be difficult. If you are not able to go on a walk after work because your schedule is packed full work meetings and the sun sets at 5pm, don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty that you failed. Instead, give yourself a “day off of walking” and try an at-home yoga video instead when you’re off work or go outside on your lunch break for a 5-minute walk.

Many times, resolutions “fail” because we hold the high expectation that we need to meet it daily or it doesn’t count, also known as all-or-nothing thinking. Allow yourself to adapt your goals when obstacles arise and give yourself grace if the routine is not set in stone on day 1.

Final Thoughts on Setting Resolutions

Overall, resolutions should be made with a soft approach. Instead of cutting out things from your diet and life, focus on what you would like to add that will bring you closer to the over-arching goals. And if you are stuck not knowing what resolutions to make, check your values before making your list. Choose goals that align with who you are and who you want to grow into in the upcoming year. Instead of “New Year, New Me”, reconstruct that phrase to “New Year and Bettering Me”.

The year is 2024 and we are throwing out the old resolutions that made us feel guilty for failing within the first month (that is sooo last year’s trend anyway) and bringing in the new resolutions, the ones that are built with compassion towards ourselves.

Looking for more tips for setting resolutions? Check out this post!