By Niamh Casey
2021 has already seen a year’s worth of events take place, and yet it still managed to drag on. January can seem like a never-ending month at the best of times, and even more so in the current circumstance.
The days of asking people how they are doing have passed, as the expected answer has become “ah you know, getting on with it”, an attitude which, for better or for worse, is gradually being accepted by most. With the right approach however, this attitude is not as woeful as it might appear, and the key is being able to cut yourself some slack.
Without sounding overly optimistic, the key in getting through hard times is by not pushing yourself past your limits, remind yourself that you’re doing a good job as it is. The New Year is usually the time that people set either unrealistic or unspecific goals for themselves to try to meet, inevitably falling short.
It’s a fact that less than 8% of people stick to their resolutions, which leaves an overwhelming amount of people feeling bad and giving themselves a hard time for not meeting their goals. Looking at this fact alone, it’s undeniable to say that new year’s resolutions don’t really work, the reason for which being that most resolutions made are unrealistic. People often give up once they don’t see results after a couple of days, or they realise the task at hand is harder than it first seemed.
Consistency is key when trying to make lifestyle changes, and if you feel like you’re not meeting your own standards, maybe try lowering them. There is no shame in adjusting a goal to make it more achievable, you’re doing this for yourself, not to impress others.
Another big reason people fail to meet their resolutions is because they set goals that are too broad. ‘Exercise’, ‘eat healthy’ and ‘read more’ are too vague, it’ll be easier to follow through with your intentions. Set specific challenges for yourself like learning how to cook a specific meal or two from scratch or work out twice a week. Tailor your objectives to suit your schedule and your current skill level. You’re bound to fail if you make a plan without having an idea or means of how to carry it out, and again you’re only left feeling like you failed. This year is certainly not the year to be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Set personal goals that are attainable and possible to achieve and stick with it. This way the results you’re seeking will sneak up on you before you know it.
All this being said however, if you don’t feel like setting resolutions or objectives for yourself this year, do not feel bad for not doing so. The point of new year’s resolutions is to feel accomplished and good about yourself, and if you’re not feeling either, then don’t force yourself to continue. The best way to approach this year is by allowing time to do things that make you happy and help keep your mind at ease, be it exercising, binge watching shows or getting artistic. If you must set only one goal, let it be do more of what you love.