As this year’s holiday season comes to a close, there is one celebration left that everyone in the world can embrace together. With New Years Eve comes anticipation of another 365 days of fun, laughter and joy combined with doubt and uncertainty as 2016 approaches.
It’s an exciting time, because you can reflect with family and friends on all you accomplished in the past year. It’s also easy to feel pressure to make major life changes as the countdown approaches. How daunting!
You may have already begun creating a list of New Year’s resolutions you’ll need to commit to and hold yourself accountable for over the course of the year. Though, the last thing you want to do is put any undue pressure on yourself by creating a list of goals, tasks and responsibilities that is overwhelming or overly ambitious.
Resolutions like cleaning out your bedroom closet or keeping the garage clean are relatively harmless and extremely helpful resolutions to relieve you of daily distractions and doses of stress. On the other hand, saying you will quit eating carbs entirely when you eat breakfast pastries, submarine sandwiches and Italian food on a daily basis is likely going to lead to many hunger pains and eventual failure to maintain your goal.
Be mindful of setting reasonable goals for next year—small and manageable—that will challenge you to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle, without completely breaking apart your regular routine. Research shows that separating long-term goals into short-term pieces are an important to personal achievement.
It could be that you have plenty of quality goals that you want to stick to in 2016, but aren’t sure how you plan to see them through. Can you fit all of your goals and resolutions into one year? Can you make sure they stick long-term? There are plenty of helpful resources to guide you into making healthy habits long-lasting. In fact, your cell phone is quickly becoming a hidden jewel for self-improvement.
For others, New Year’s resolutions are simply not the best way to take a rejuvenated approach to 2016. Kelly McGonigal, PhD, a Stanford psychiatrist, is one of many experts who have offered alternatives to New Year’s resolutions meant to help you look at the coming months in a brand-new light.
Instead of focusing on what you can do differently in 2016, you may be happier focusing on the things you were grateful for in the past year.
One of the best ways to feel good about your continued improvement in developing a healthy lifestyle is to write down great moments of success and accomplishment and place them in a jar. It’s something you can do personally or as a family. At this time next year, you’ll have a jar full of great memories to share and relive, some you may have even forgotten about.
Then again, you may already be weeks or months into a new diet or workout plan, jump-starting your healthy 2016. Even better! While the end of the year is always a great time to be reflective and create positive new habits, remember that you can always make real change in your lifestyle at any time throughout the year.
Cheers to wonderful 2016!