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New Year, New Me: How to Succeed at New Year's Resolutions

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by Arianne Merez
Dec 27, 2021
Photo/s: Shutterstock
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Virtual Assistant Kyla Siarto is betting her Shopee haul of exercise gear and OOTDs that the 2022 edition of her "Balik Alindog" will succeed this time. She's determined to get healthy on the third year of the COVID quarantines.

Like many who list down getting fit as their New Year's Resolution for several years, Siarto said there would be no excuses this time. In 2021, she kept an exercise routine until April, when stress caused her to miss her workouts.

"I'm telling myself that I'm doing it to be more confident and not for other people. I want to look and feel good," she told reportr.

Why do people find it difficult to commit to New Year's resolutions? It may be because of overthinking, according to psychologist Beverly Denice Ongson of Dear Future Self PH.

"The person may already be subconsciously calculating all possible scenarios including the ones wherein they fail to accomplish their goal. They may already be thinking that they will be subject to ridicule and judgment from their peers," Ongson told reportr.

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"To add to this, the person may have some previous experience wherein they failed to fulfill their resolution, so this discourages them to commit as they already think they might fail," she added.

People make New Year's resolutions for that extra push to improve themselves, said life coach Pat Mallari.

"Resolutions make our daily living intentional, targeted and purposeful. If we can be a better version, why not try, right?" she told reportr.

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What makes a healthy New Year's resolution?

While resolutions provide motivation for self-improvement, psychologist Ongson said people should remember that it's not the be-all and end-all of making and achieving one's goals.

"Setting realistic expectations with ourselves before committing can help in avoiding future disappointments," she said.

For those crafting their New Year's resolutions, consider the following elements according to life coach Mallari:

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1. It should be SMART.

New Year's resolutions should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound.

"Having a SMART Goal or Resolution allows you to focus on what needs to be achieved," Mallari said.

2. It should improve your values.

In fulfilling your resolution, consider the values that you will develop in the process.

"It is important to ask yourself the question - who am I becoming as I achieve this resolution? This is because there is a possibility that the resolution might not be achieved but you cannot throw away the growth or the person you have become in the process of achieving this goal. Are you becoming more patient? Persistent? Disciplined?" Mallari said.

3. Consider the trade-off.

Nothing good comes easy. In achieving your New Year's Resolution, think about what you are sacrificing to achieve it.

For example, committing to a diet and exercise program would mean sacrificing comfort and some food indulgences.

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How to craft effective New Year's resolutions?

New Year's resolutions are personal as these are personal milestones eyed for the incoming year. Here are tips from Ongson and Mallari on how to craft effective ones.

1. Start small.

Set small milestones to keep you motivated in gunning for the next, said Ongson.

"Anything worthwhile takes time to develop, but the most important step is our first. That first step is a sign that we are taking control of our lives towards a life that we want to live and this is where our confidence will be built," she said.

2. Imagine yourself at the end of 2022.

When thinking about your New Year's resolution, think of the person you would want to be at the end of 2022.

"Another way of putting it is imagine yourself by Dec. 31, 2022, what would you like to have become by then? This is also a good starting point," Mallari said.

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3. Own your resolutions.

New Year's resolutions are personal and don't need to be similar to other people's.

"The resolution should come from you, as only you can achieve this, not for anyone else but yourself," Ongson said.

And finally, keep in mind that resolutions are not mandatory and only serve as guides for personal growth for the new year.

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