Breaking habits, avoiding resolution commitment phobia
Amidst the shouted New Year’s Eve ball drop countdown and couples lip-locking as the clock struck that fateful double digit is the promise of a new year, ripe with opportunity. When the glittery, champagne soaked excitement of New Year’s Eve fades into the confetti-strewn floor, the call to commit to a New Year’s resolution sounds. As January comes to a close, Inside Beat presents a list of the top 5 most popular (and not surprisingly, most commonly broken) resolutions, and explains how to avoid the inevitable resolution commitment issues.
Take the “pro” out of “procrastinate”
Procrastination is a college student’s kryptonite. If you’re stuck in a constant cycle of hitting the “next episode” button, close your laptop and remind yourself of your priorities. Keeping a planner not only allows you to record both your long and short term responsibilities, but also allows you to plan to execute such responsibilities efficiently by displaying their due dates in a linear progression. Similarly, making and displaying a daily to-do list on a whiteboard or on your phone will help you regulate your schedule by serving as a constant reminder of what you need to complete by day’s end. Having constant visual reminders makes you less likely to procrastinate. Bonus: you’ll actually be able to celebrate “Sunday Funday” with your friends instead of catching up on two weeks worth of work.
Be a Quitter
Perhaps one of the most difficult resolutions to uphold is quitting smoking. To simultaneously save both your lungs and your wallet, dispose of any lingering cigarettes you may have lurking to avoid temptation. Recording the number of days you don’t smoke will remind you of the willpower you demonstrated and will accordingly make you more determined to continue your no smoking streak, thus lessening the likelihood of breaking the streak and starting over. According to WebMD, Nicotine gum and patches are healthier alternatives for those looking to slowly wean themselves off of cigarettes. More importantly, however, is choosing to surround yourself with people who don’t smoke so you won’t socially relapse. The taste of success is much sweeter anyway.
(Don’t) Do It For the ‘Gram
No matter how many likes your overly filtered pictures of food, scenery and/or pets generate, or how many views your status update tempts, you miss out on what’s going on around you when you have both your eyes and your thumbs glued to your phone screen. Those lacking the willpower to stop scrolling but who are looking to reduce their social media use should sign out of their accounts. Repeated prompts to sign back in will become irritating, time consuming, discouraging and ultimately tempering the desire to do so. After all, the world can wait to hear how you’re a nightmare dressed like a — well, you get the point.
No Ex Zone
Some of us break our resolutions before they’ve even been in effect for a solid minute. If you’re in this elite group of resolution rompers, chances are you sent a few text messages that you aren’t proud of to your ex while ringing in the new year. Put your phone down, stop stalking ex bae’s social media accounts and surround yourself with people who make an active effort to be a part of your life. Continuing to socialize with your current friends and putting yourself out there to meet new ones is a foolproof way to resist sobbing over a sappy rom-com and sending the inevitable “I miss you” text. If all else fails? Get a cat.
Alternatively, the Please Flex Zone
Maybe you’re tired of hearing, “Do you even lift, bro?” or maybe you’re determined to kick your late weekend night grease truck trips. Regardless, many people become determined to adopt a healthier lifestyle when a new year dawns. So, no matter how determined you are to channel your inner ‘80s workout video star, maxing out your credit card on spandex and white sweatbands is not the most realistic way to achieve this goal or inspire long lasting motivation. Instead, set yourself up for resolution success by not simply looking the part, but by acting the part and taking the necessary steps to fulfill your resolution. If you find it difficult to get out of bed and to the gym on cold mornings, form a home workout to avoid forfeiting physical activity for the day. Certain magazines and On Demand TV fitness shows offer such do-at-home suggestions. Forming a strict workout schedule, whether at home or at the gym, will make you more committed to following it, especially as it becomes a characterizing part of your day. Similarly, those looking to maintain a healthier body weight are shown to achieve their goal weight faster when they aim for loss in smaller, more realistic increments, i.e. 5 pounds instead of 30. Certain smartphone apps allow users to log their daily food intake and physical activity, making it even easier to track progress. Sweaty is the new sexy.
While others may have called your resolution “basic” for its commonality, Inside Beat’s realistic resolution tips will ensure you won’t be making the same resolution next year to compensate for a failed 2015 attempt. After all, that’s so 2k14.