New Years resolutions: don’t set yourself up for failure

A fresh new year leading to a fresh new you, whether that’s physically, mentally or financially, is appealing to many people every January 1st. As 2023 is quickly coming to a close, many Canadians from coast to coast are beginning to plan, or at least think about their New Years resolutions.

Putting some thought into the new year is something Erica Henderson, co-founder of Body Measure thinks is important, especially after the holiday season comes to an end.

“New Year’s resolutions are like a new beginning,” Henderson said. “I like to think of January as a new beginning, a new fresh start. So it’s nice to set goals and see where we are today, after Christmas, after all the celebrations and New Year’s Eve.”

When it comes to setting those goals, Henderson advises people to think about framing them in more manageable chunks, instead of the whole meal.

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“Baby steps, you know? Let’s make a resolution that for the month of January I’m going to start week one working out twice a week. Week two, I’m going to try and do three times a week.” Henderson continued saying, “We set ourselves up for failure by just having these huge mountains to climb right off the bat.”

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Dr. Jay Greenfeld, a clinical psychologist at the Mind Matters Clinic agrees. Setting goals for ourselves is important, but they don’t necessarily need to happen all at once.

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“It’s helpful to set goals in any way, shape or form… the detriment to that is, when you set those expectations too high because they’re focused on one aspect of the year.” Dr. Greenfeld explained. “Saying I’m going to set all my major goals in a 24-hour span puts a lot more pressure on you to actually succeed.”

It also doesn’t help that we’re coming out of the holiday season.

“There’s a big emphasis on this final month of the year for a number of different reasons,” Greenfeld said. “It becomes cold both metaphorically and literally, and you don’t have the same energy.”

There are some ways to help make your resolutions stick. Shapes Fitness personal trainer, Kevin Richardson told Global News, one way to make personal progress is by making it fun.

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“It’s got to be fun. Find a friend, find a family member, find a coworker, find somebody else that wants to do this journey with you.” Richardson explained. “It’s really hard to start, and that’s why I think it’s so important to find someone you can team up with and make it fun and lower the pressure and just enjoy the process.” Richardson also emphasizes that while you might be working towards similar goals, don’t hold yourselves to the same standard.

How or why you set your New Years resolution is entirely up to you, and how you accomplish them can be unique as well. After all, there’s always next year.

&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.