It’s about that time of year again – where we channel our most hopeful, optimistic selves and craft a list of New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming flip of the calendar. Instead of doing a rinse and repeat on the same commitments you made (and abandoned) in past years, how about crowd sourcing (and leveling up!) your 2023 resolution this year? We’ve collected a handful of clever contenders, plus some essential stick-with-it tips to help make the most efficient use of your resolve.
Meet the Experts
Dr. Sarah Sarkis is a clinical psychologist.
The Right Way to Set a Resolution
“New Year’s resolutions should be specific, actionable, measurable, realistic, and achievable,” says Dr. Sarah Sarkis, a clinical psychologist. “But often these are not the issues when it comes to sticking with a resolution or not — often this belongs in the domain of human psychology. Almost everyone I work with knows all the relevant information on how best to make a goal or habit stick at this point. When we see the chronic inability to maintain or implement resolutions it’s more likely a personality/psychological scenario that is derailing progress.”
Next: Don’t Stop
The key to keeping your resolution once you’ve made it? That comes down to one thing, says Dr. Sarkis. “Consistency beats motivation every day and twice on Sundays! The single best approach anyone can take to make any kind of long-term habit change is to start small and do the minimum amount they can maintain consistently for as long as possible,” she says. “In other words, start with what you can and keep going long after you don’t want to anymore.”
Check In on Your Progress
“I encourage everyone to conduct an audit of their previous attempts and resolutions before setting new ones.” says Dr. Sarkis. “Hang your hat on small consistent efforts towards your goal vs. large, sweeping gestures of change. In other words, if you are starting a workout regimen, instead of saying you will work out every day for an hour, I encourage people to make their goal more realistic: I will work out for 15-20 minutes per day more days than not (so four or more days). People will often say, ‘but that’s so little, it’s not enough time to achieve my overall goals.’ To which I reply, ‘It’s more time than zero minutes per day, zero days of the week, and that’s what you told me you are averaging right now.’ If you’re consistent with your efforts these large resolutions will feel more manageable and you won’t feel the need for a mid-year check-in. Eventually, if you keep up with them, they will become part of your daily habits!”
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel – Consider These Already Tested Resolutions for 2023
Now that you’ve got a handle on the “how,” read through some previously made resolutions, from celebrities to creatives to royals over the past few years.
“My New Year’s resolution is to leave room for magic. To make my plans, and be okay if they sometimes break. To set my goals, but to be open to change.”
“Be on my phone less and be more in the moment.”
“When reading news, take in only what happened, not the think space around what happened. Do this only once for each incident.”
“My New Year’s resolution is to basically repeat my resolution from last year, which was to take more time off, go see the world, travel, and have some great experiences, so that you can be inspired to get back to work.”
“I would definitely like to be a closer and better friend to everybody. I have this core group of people in my life and it is so hard to keep in touch with them, and they are all having children, and I miss birthdays.”
“To learn one new thing. To be good at something. So I’ve been taking tennis lessons and I’m going to continue doing it. I used to be terrible and now I’m just really mediocre. So it’s working.
“Find something you want to change in your community and take the first step toward changing it.”
“I will get up every morning no later than 8:00 a.m. (Can break this rule once a week.)”
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