“I will exercise regularly”, “I will not eat junk food”, “I will study seriously”. Ever wondered why we make New Year resolutions? And more importantly how to keep them! Then stop wondering and read on. We’ve got it all covered – in this edition of Science Lab.
New Year, New Me! You must have heard this phrase everywhere around the New Year, but what exactly does it mean? Do we regenerate like Ben 10’s avatars? Or is it like going on to the next rank in PUB-G?
Well, New Year resolutions just help you become a better person than you were last year, it is a promise you make to yourself for the new year to improve your life! Some people promise to break a bad habit like eating too much junk food and candy or being lazy. Others choose to make some positive habits such as volunteering, exercising more or even learning new skills! You can choose anything you want, there are no set rules.
But why do we make these resolutions?
Apparently, the culture of resolutions began with the ancient Romans. The month of January is named after the Roman God Janus who had two faces, one faced forward and could look into the future and the other faced backwards into the past. On December 31st the Romans said that God Janus would look into the past and the future, urging people to forgive their enemies and move on into the new year without any grudges. This caught on and people began making New Year’s Resolutions!
But how do we keep them?
So now we know the history. Now let’s get to the science of keeping the resolutions! It might seem scary at first, but if you systematically plan your resolutions, it becomes easy and manageable to keep them! Here are a few tips you can experiment with this year.
We all have goals we want to achieve like being as strong as the Black Widow or Thor, or clever like Loki, however, setting unrealistic expectations can make your goals daunting and gives you the feeling that no matter what, you can’t achieve it! So be realistic. Instead of saying YOU WILL NEVER EAT YOUR FAVOURITE JUNK FOOD EVER AGAIN!! Make it more attainable, like you will only eat your favourite junk food once a week or month. It also makes it easier to let go, rather than just quitting cold-turkey!
Planning, planning and planning!
Making plans ahead of time will not only help you make your mind about your resolutions but also help you get into the mindset of achieving your goals and not giving in to temptation. If you want to become an early bird, waking up at 6 a.m. on January 1st will be a lot more difficult than waking up a little early every day, so you can ensure that your goal is sufficiently met!
Making an outline of your resolutions will also greatly help! Listing down the steps you want to take to meet your resolution goals or breaking down a big task into small sub-tasks will also help you set realistic goals while giving you a direction of what to do, which will make it more likely for you to meet your goals.
Remind yourself why you want to do it!
Sometimes, throughout the way of achieving one’s goals, we get so obsessed with the result that we end up forgetting why we want to do it in the first place! So, keep reminding yourself why you want to wake up early (so you can become a more productive person). Keeping little notes on your mirror, study table or near the places you spend more time will help remind you why you would like to achieve your resolution goals!
Talk about it!
Talking about your goals with those you feel comfortable with – such as your friends and family will also help motivate you to stay on track! They can help you wake up early or have a good balanced diet or even stay fit by doing those activities with you! Having people around you will help you stick to the commitment you make.
Track your progress
Keeping a track of your progress will not only motivate you, but will definitely make you feel good about yourself and give you that sense of success that you deserve! Keeping a journal or making a video diary to track your progress, helps you visualize how close you are to your goal. It will also make it easier for you to follow your goal!
Divide your resolutions into smaller bitesize goals and treat yourself when you achieve a goal. You’re working hard and for that you deserve some treats! Reward yourself by giving yourself a treat or by doing something you enjoy because you deserve it! It will make you feel good for sticking to your goals and you will be even more motivated to continue it. Celebrate your progress and successes!
Keep trying, that is all that matters!
Sometimes you might wake up late, or not have time to exercise. Maybe you ate your favourite junk food three times a week! You don’t have to beat yourself up for that. It does not mean that you cannot achieve your goals or that you aren’t worthy. We are all humans and things don’t always go exactly how we want them to, and that is alright! As long as you wake up the next, still motivated to do better that yesterday means you are succeeding!
Researchers say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, start small, do something for just 21 days and see how wonderful you’ll feel! Don’t worry, if you feel like something is not for you, you can always do the other thing. There are no limits!
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