9 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

The new year is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and rethink our approach to the future.

Many people use this time to make resolutions and establish new habits. But all too often, you may find yourself getting caught up in the excitement of the new year and making vague or grandiose promises to yourself that you can’t realistically keep.

So how can we set resolutions that we can actually stick to

One approach is to use the principles of Self-Determination Theory, which suggests that motivation is driven by three psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. When these needs are met, we are more likely to be motivated and engaged in our resolutions.

Here are a few things to consider when setting up your resolutions this year:

Activities That You Choose For Yourself

When it comes to resolutions, it’s important to choose activities that align with your values and interests. This way, you’ll be more likely to follow through with them because they are things that you genuinely want to do.

A Physical Activity That You Actually Want to Do 

One common resolution is to be more physically active, but if you’re not someone who enjoys going to the gym or running, this can be a difficult habit to maintain. Instead of forcing yourself to do activities that you don’t care for, find physical activities that you actually enjoy. This way, it will be much easier to get started and continue being active throughout the entire year.

Healthy Meals That You Enjoy Eating 

Eating healthier doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods or following restrictive diets. One resolution you could make is to focus on finding and incorporating more health-promoting recipes into your regular meal rotation. 

This could involve experimenting with new ingredients, cooking techniques, or cuisines that you haven’t tried before. Not only will this help you diversify your diet and potentially discover new favorites, but it will also allow you to incorporate more nutrients and health benefits into your meals. 

Saying No to Unhealthy Requests 

Sometimes, improving yourself is not about doing more, it’s about doing less.

Consider the demands and obligations that you put on yourself. Saying no to requests that don’t align with your values or goals can be a healthy resolution. 

This could mean saying no to invitations to unhealthy temptations, or declining requests that would require you to neglect your own self-care.

Activities That Match Your Lifestyle and Personality

Another key aspect of motivation is relatedness, or the need to feel connected to others. When we engage in activities that strengthen our relationships and connections with others, we are more likely to be motivated and engaged.

Deepen Your Connections 

One resolution you could make is to focus on deepening your connections with the people you care about. This could mean scheduling regular phone or video calls with loved ones, or making an effort to be more present and attentive when you’re with them.

Renew Old Friendships 

Another resolution could be to reconnect with old friends that you haven’t spoken to in a while. This could be a great opportunity to rekindle old friendships and strengthen your social support network.

Join a New Community 

Joining a new group or club can be a great way to meet new people who share similar interests and hobbies. This can not only provide you with a sense of community and belonging but also allow you to learn and grow in a new area. 

Look for groups or clubs that align with your interests and values, and make an effort to attend meetings and get involved. This could be anything from a book club to a sports team to a volunteer organization. 

By joining a new group or club, you can expand your social network and find new sources of motivation and support.

Activities That Allow For Personal Growth and Mastery

The third psychological need, competence, refers to the need to feel capable and effective at what we do. When we engage in activities that allow us to learn and grow, we are more likely to feel competent and motivated.

Not Too Easy

If a resolution is too easy, you may lose interest quickly because it does not provide a sense of challenge or accomplishment. When we engage in activities that are too easy, we may not feel a sense of growth or progress. This can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation to continue.

Not Too Hard

If a resolution is too hard, it can be easy to become discouraged and lose motivation. When we face too many challenges or setbacks, it can be tempting to give up and abandon our goals. This is why it’s important to find activities that are challenging, but not too challenging. 

By finding activities that are just challenging enough to be engaging and rewarding, you can stay motivated and continue to make progress toward your goals. 

It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to adjust your goals or take a break if you need to. 

Satisfying Progress

When setting a resolution, it’s important to find activities that provide a satisfying sense of progress and mastery. Tracking your progress and seeing the improvements you’ve made can also be a great source of motivation. 

Whether it’s a physical activity or a new skill you’re learning, finding ways to measure and celebrate your progress can help you stay motivated and engaged in your resolution.