Many people start off the new year by making a resolution. While some people keep their resolutions and some do not, Texoma Specialty Counseling Licensed Professional Counselor Stephanie Waitt said there are a number of reasons why people like making changes for the new year.
Waitt also has tips people can use when trying to figure out what their resolutions should be and how to achieve them.
“Some people think about it like beginnings and endings,” she said. “For them, it is about starting fresh during the new year. It is a mentality that things will be different at the beginning of the year because you can start over.”
Sometimes, people also like to make smaller goals centered around new beginnings.
“It’s along the same lines as, ‘I will start on Monday,’” Waitt said.
A second reason people like to make new year resolutions is because they want to feel like they are not alone.
“Then there are people who think about it with a community feel,” she said. “They think, ‘everyone does it’ or ‘everyone is doing it.’ Sometimes the group mentality is good when people think about the fresh start.”
The third reason that people like making new year resolutions is because they want the freedom to enjoy the holidays.
“During the holidays, people also think that indulgence is OK,” Waitt said. “So they want to get started with their changes when the new year begins because it’s OK to eat a little more or do certain things during the holidays.”
Living in a diet culture, Waitt said there is a lot of shame around the holidays when it comes to eating.
“The holidays are a barrier with some people that like diets,” she said. “I am not a fan of dieting or weight loss solutions for New Year’s. It is about making healthy lifestyle changes — not starting and stopping.”
When it comes to making healthy new year resolutions, Waitt said people should first think about their priorities.
“Ask yourself what is important and what your values in life are,” Waitt said. “Then ask yourself ‘is this goal going to allow me to spend time with my family’ if family is one of the important values to you. Will this life change going to affect your values. Know you priorities and know if change is in support of that.”
She also said people should not restrict themselves.
“It is not good for people to think about resolutions as being something that restricts them,” Waitt said. “They will not keep with it if they feel like it is something that is taking away from their life. Also, if you are trying to do something that you do not like, you will not stick with it.”
Think about whether you want to make a permanent change or a temporary change when choosing a resolution.
“With resolution starting, that is about making a major life change,” Waitt said. “When making a resolution, think how do I make a life change to suit me or make a resolution about something that I can stick with? Make resolutions that you can do. Do not make resolutions that make you feel deprived.”
One possible resolution can be to resolve to be patient with yourself.
“Do something to make you feel good about yourself as well as about your accomplishments,” Waitt said.
It’s also important to know your whys when deciding on a resolution.
“Know why the change is important mentally, physically and emotionally,” Waitt said. “I want people to be healthier and happier, but do not do it with big diets. Resolutions are all about making changes that will help you be the happiest, healthiest you.”