Hanging on to clothes that don’t fit as an incentive to keep a New Year’s resolution to get in shape? Studies show that this strategy tends to backfire by reminding people that they aren’t the same slim size they were in the past, producing a sense of inadequacy that can result in behavior that doesn’t support the goal. Instead of holding out for the day those clothes might fit again, donate them to ClothingDonations.org and take a long walk or sign up for a fitness class. When you reach a more ideal size, you can buy new clothes!
If you made any 2020 resolutions, chances are that they were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic before you could see them through. Many people continue to have more down time at home due to social distancing restrictions, however, so it might be time to work on a new hobby or work on skill. Country Living suggests trying something new every month of 2021, whether it’s a complete pottery or fitness class or simply a new recipe or hairstyle. “Get creative and don’t forget to get your friends and family involved,” the story says.
Experts agree that small, incremental New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep and may turn into healthy, lifelong habits. For example, Good Housekeeping suggests keeping the kitchen clutter-free by putting all recipe cards, small appliances and incoming groceries in their place immediately. One study found that women who were surrounded by kitchen clutter tended to eat more cookies, the magazine says; so, this resolution can contribute to other common goals such as losing weight and eating right.
You’ll cast the year’s smallest noontime shadow when the summer solstice arrives at 11:54 EDT on Friday, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make big plans. Use the sun’s extended presence to get recalibrate yourself toward life goals, Vogue suggests. “Energetically, it’s a great time for a check-in,” says healer Emily Mikaelah. “Take the time to ask yourself, ‘What progress has been made on my dreams?’ and ‘Have I been doing my part to make them come into fruition?’ The fruit is ripening soon, and we want to pick it off the branch when it’s at its peak.”
Psychologists say you should only make New Year’s resolutions if you really want to change, says Business Insider. Self-motivation is easy to find if you’re doing something for yourself; if you can’t get motivated, maybe the goal of the resolution isn’t really that important. If you can keep a promise to yourself for a full month, you’ll be well on the way to forming a new habit, and habits — good and bad — are hard to break. And it’s easier to succeed in your resolutions if you can replace an old, unwanted or counterproductive habit with a new, more positive one.