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.
Get SMART about crafting a New Year’s resolution for yourself, GoSkills says: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive goals are proven to be more realistic and therefore easier to keep. Furthermore, if you write down your goal or goals, they will be simpler to remember and track. You may also choose to share your resolution with a friend to lend a sense of accountability — or seek out a group of people who have similar goals to support your efforts and cheer your successes.
One way to track your progress on New Year’s #resolution can be considered a resolution in itself: Make lists. “It’s easy to forget things we need to do,” says Eat This, Not That. “Making lists not only ensures we get it all done, but it also makes us feel accomplished.” Simple suggestions you might put on that list include starting a journal, backing up your data, complaining less, finding a mantra, and cutting down on phone and TV screen time. While easy to make and keep, any of the site’s 50(!) resolution suggestions could yield substantive changes in your life.