Updated: Jan 14
Welp. That happened.
2020 is over, believe it or not. And if you've been waiting patiently inside like the rest of us wondering if this virus will ever end, it may be hard to feel excited about the new year ahead. Dreaming about new goals to accomplish can feel exhausting and unachievable. But as every good meditation video says, try to let it wash over you.
That being said, at a time when life feels stagnant and isolating for most, we need those new year's resolutions now more than ever to give us a sense of purpose and something to work toward. So, suck it up and make them- even if you haven't wanted to yet! Or, if you've already made them, time to make a game plan to see them through, even after your initial motivation wears off in a couple of weeks.
Neuroscience research suggests that if you elevate a plan into your working memory repeatedly, it's likely to emerge in your dreams and help your brain 'simulate' the experience fully so that your brain makes concrete plans on how to execute it.
So, to make resolutions you can easily follow through with (because let’s face it, we should all take it easy on ourselves this year), let’s start off with quick, realistic goals. Here are a couple of easy steps:
1. List your resolutions, and keep them visible.
Do you have extra room on the back of the fridge, or a cozy space behind your door? Perfect! Write them out in colorful markers and post them there. Keeping a visible reminder of your resolutions will help to keep them in your working memory and will be a daily reminder to keep pushing to get them done. We love this particular planner for a lot of different reasons Rocketbook Panda.
2. Make your resolution with someone else.
The next time you catch up with friends, brainstorm your resolutions together. Research has shown that one makes more realistic and successful plans when with others. If you create resolutions with friends or family, you are likely to pick resolutions that are actually achievable, and will have some additional healthy social pressure to assist you in the meantime.
3. Rank your resolutions.
Make your list, and then rank which resolutions are most important to you. If you have fifteen resolutions, you may want to cut down to an achievable five, and in doing so, think about why each rolutions is important to you. Maybe some are specifically a winter 2021 goal? Maybe some are best saved until 2022, when the world is collectively more safe? Either way, making a prioritized list will help you be more strategic in planning out each one of your resolutions.
4. Use a realistic accountability mechanism.
You know yourself best, so evaluate your behavior patterns and choose the best strategy to maintain your resolutions for this year. Be honest with yourself. One idea is social pressure, be it quarterly check ins with friends on your goals, or posting on your progress on your social pages. You can also reward yourself with positive incentives such as ordering from your favorite restaurant, or splurging on that new phone upgrade or taking away some daily enjoyments if you have strayed from your goal, to keep you on track. Tying in positive and negative rewards is a great incentive to keep going.
Whatever your goals are this year, I wish you the best of luck accomplishing them! With these steps, I have no doubt that you'll make some exciting new changes to your life this year.
Thanks for following along with us this past year, and cheers to new beginnings in 2021!
And don't forget to watch our first-of-its-kind shoppable sitcom, Adulting with Jane!
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