Happy New Year, and welcome to 2022! For 41% of Americans, this season is all about transformation. They’ve written out their resolutions – lose weight, exercise, go to more meetings – and are doing their best to keep them. However, research shows that only 9% of people manage to keep their resolutions for a full year. Are you struggling to stay on track? It’s not too late to make some changes.
Today, we’d like to outline a few realistic goals you can strive for in 2022. We’ll also provide some tips for staying consistent all year round.
When Resolutions Don’t Work
January is the most popular month for gyms and health-related services, and it’s easy to see why. After weeks of holiday indulgence, heavy meals, and winter laziness, many people are ready to make a change. This coincides nicely with the beginning of a new year, which is probably why most people have set at least one resolution dealing with their physical wellness.
Eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight are three of the most popular goals among Americans. While these aims are exciting, they’re also ill-fated; an estimated 91% of people will fail to meet these standards.
The real question is this: Why don’t resolutions work?
They’re vague. If you don’t have a concrete way to measure your success, you’re less likely to stick with your new habits. For example, “eat better” leaves a lot more wiggle room than “eat 50 grams of protein per day.”
They’re unrealistic. Many people love to fantasize about the results of their hard work. “New Year, New Me” is a popular slogan for this reason. However, if you think you’re going to lose 50 pounds in just a few short months, you’re not setting yourself up for success. Overly ambitious goals can be discouraging and unachievable.
They’re not really what you want. If your resolutions are geared towards others, not yourself, you probably won’t be willing to put in the effort required.
Fortunately, with just a little planning, you can set, meet, and even exceed your goals for 2022. Here’s how.
New Goals for the New Year
If you’re nervous that your resolution won’t make it through this first week of the new year, no need to worry. We’ve got a collection of tips and tricks that will make consistency easier than ever. As long as you’re willing to make a few changes (to your goal and your schedule), you can achieve any resolution you put your mind to. Here are your must-do steps.
Make Your Goal More Specific
Like we said above, vague goals are tough to meet. How do you know when you’ve succeeded? Rewrite your resolution so that it’s quantifiable. Examples would be “Exercise for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday” or “Lose 15 pounds by Eileen’s wedding.”
Gradual change is more long-lasting than sudden, rapid shifts. If you want to maintain a healthy diet or run a certain distance, start by taking baby steps. Set incremental goals and push yourself as you meet each one. That way, you’ll build better habits that will stand the test of time.
One Thing at a Time
You’re most likely to succeed if you narrow your focus to a single resolution. Resist the urge to pursue a dozen different versions of a better life. Take each goal one at a time!
Progress, Not Perfection
Finally, remember this crucial rule of recovery. You don’t have to be perfect right away – in fact, it’s almost impossible to be perfect at all. As long as you’re seeing improvement and working towards your goal, be kind to yourself and don’t stress.
If you’re not inspired by the usual resolutions, we’ve got a few less traditional recommendations. These changes are small, achievable, and exciting. They’ll also improve your quality of life (or the lives of others).
See if any of these resolutions sound like something you’d like to pursue.
- Try a new food every week
- Buy a stranger’s groceries (or dinner)
- Take a different way home
- Volunteer to help those in early recovery
- Check on your bank balance regularly
- Get a new haircut to refresh your look
- Donate blood
- Try participating in Meatless Monday
- Replace worn-out socks, underwear, and shirts
- Get to know your neighbors
- Talk to your loved ones about recovery
- Learn an impressive party trick
- Floss every day
- Designate “tech-free time” each evening
- Block websites that make you unhappy
- Clean out your car every month
- Reach out to people in your 12-Step group
- Send handwritten letters to friends and family
- Use the things you were saving for a good occasion
Find Recovery in the New Year
If you’ve resolved to stop drinking or using drugs, Lakeside-Milam is here for you. Our accredited approach to treatment is equal parts empathetic and effective. With proven inpatient and outpatient programs, our treatment center has something for everyone. Contact our admissions team to learn more about recovering in the Pacific Northwest.