One of the reasons I love the New Year is because it feels like a fresh start. A chance to reflect on the past year, improve upon myself and set new goals. Setting a New Year’s resolution is a popular activity for many people. The beginning of a new year is a great time for transition and change. Maybe you want to write a book, run a marathon, lose weight or start a new career. It can be exciting to take advantage of a fresh, new year to motivate you to make a change in your life.
On the downside, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. While it is fun to envision a “brand new you” and set big goals, sometimes we set ourselves up to fail by choosing goals that are unrealistic. According to “Psychology Today“, there could be a number of reasons that your New Year’s resolutions fail. One of the most common issues with goal-setting is that goals are not clear. If goals are too general or vague it can be hard to determine the steps you need to reach your goal. Another possible reason for failing at your resolution is feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. It can be difficult to know where to start with your goal, or perhaps it is such a big change that you feel overwhelmed by the pressure. Sometimes we fail because we are just not ready for change. It is important to think about your motivation or reason for change and be ready to make a commitment. When we don’t truly want to change our habits or lifestyle we find excuses and have a hard time putting in the effort.
The best thing we can do to make changes in our lives is to start with small, daily actions. My own personal goal for the new year is to create a better morning routine. Although I am a morning person, there are so many days that I wake up feeling rushed or push the snooze button one too many times. Recently I stumbled up a book called “My Morning Routine” by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander. This book features interviews from authors, CEOs, artists, entrepreneurs, athletes and more. The chapters cover topics like getting out of bed in the morning, maintaining productivity and focus, and improving the quality of your sleep. The authors’ goal is not to outline the perfect morning routine for everyone, but to provide you with examples to build your own daily habits that encourage you to start each day inspired.
What are some other habits you would like to improve upon? Perhaps you want to increase your productivity and get more done throughout the day? Check out “The Secret to Peak Productivity” by Tamara Myles. Using what she calls the Peak Productivity Pyramid, Myles takes you through the steps to assess your strengths and weaknesses and create a personal plan to master productivity in areas of physical organization, time management and more. Another thing that can interfere with productivity is multitasking. Sometimes we tend to think that if we are doing multiple things at once we are getting more done. On the contrary, studies have shown that our brains lack the capacity to do more than one thing at a time well. We are actually slower at switching between tasks, and we do a much better job when we focus on one task at a time. In her book, “Singletasking: Get More Done One Thing at a Time,” Devora Zack discusses the multitasking myth and how we can change the way we work by focusing on doing one thing at a time and doing it well.
Other small changes that reap big rewards are relaxation and improved sleep quality. If you need some inspiration for self-care, check out “1001 Ways to Relax” by Susannah Marriott. This book covers how to de-stress at work, unwind at home, spend time with your children, enjoy nature and so much more. For tips on improving your sleep quality, check out “Good Night” by Dr. Michael Breus. In his book, Dr. Breus takes you through a four week program to improving your sleep step-by-step. He argues that getting a good night’s sleep can improve your quality of life. I hope these examples inspire you to make your resolutions into small, specific and measurable changes. What will your New Year’s Resolution be? Happy New Year!