3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep



3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

By now, most people have already broken their New Year’s Resolutions. They’ve stopped going to the gym, gone back to eating junk food or have given up trying to save money.

Why is self-improvement so difficult for people? 

According to Lifehack.com, it’s because people focus on what to want to achieve, but not why.

Take weight loss, for example. Losing weight is the most popular New Year’s Resolution, but most people put too much emphasis on the scale. Instead, ask why you want to lose weight. Is it to get fit enough to run a 5K? To look attractive and feel more confident? To set a positive example for your children? To gain energy, focus and self-discipline that will carry over into other areas of your life?

When it comes to self-improvement, it takes discipline to keep going when the excitement fades. Yes, discipline is a skill, but it is also fueled by positive emotions like pride and satisfaction. That’s where the why behind the resolution comes into play.

Losing 20 pounds? Not very emotional. But losing 20 pounds so you fit into an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks and people notice? Well, now you’ve got a more tangible “why” that will keep you focused on your goal.

Let’s take it a step further and tweak popular New Year’s Resolutions to focus on the why behind the goal. Here are three new and improved New Year’s Resolutions you’ll be more likely to keep and, as a result, produce those feel-good emotions you were after in the first place.

Old: Lose 20 pounds
New: Donate those “someday they’ll fit again” clothes

You’ll never be able to move forward until you let go of the past – especially reminders of past failures like clothes that used to fit. Before you can lose weight, you must love and accept who you are right now, even the flabby parts. If you skip this important step, you’re more likely to fail because you’ll get down on yourself when the going gets tough. We’ve heard it all before – exercise needs to be something positive you do for your body, not a punishment. Nobody likes to be punished, which is why we quit diets and workout programs. Getting rid of your old clothes and accepting yourself, flaws and all, is the first step toward self-improvement as an expression of self love, not self loathing.

Old: Save money
New: Travel on a small budget

There are two reasons people want to spend less and save money – to gain a feeling of security, and to have some extra money to take a vacation and enjoy life. But you don’t have to take a luxurious vacation to have fun. Yes, some people want to go on vacation to live in luxury and be pampered, but more people want to just feel the sand between their toes or feel a sense of adventure visiting a new place. The latter doesn’t necessarily require a big budget. In fact, the internet is filled with articles and blog posts that offer tips on how to travel on the cheap or for free – even overseas. Again, focusing on the why behind the resolution, like the visceral experience of the beach or a feeling of adventure, will help you achieve your goals.

Old: Reduce stress
New: Keep your car clean

We live in a stressful world, with a million daily distractions. While reducing stress is a great goal, it’s too large and not well defined. Instead, give yourself one small goal that will help you feel less stressed, like reducing the clutter in your car. It’s a small space and pretty manageable – just keep an empty grocery bag in your car and toss those water bottles and receipts as you go. Believe it or not, this will go a long way toward helping you feel less stressed.  According to Psychology Today, there are eight reasons clutter stresses us out, including overstimulation, distraction, guilt, embarrassment and anxiety. The last thing you want while driving is to feel overstimulated, distracted and full of anxiety, right? Start with a clutter free car, and you may find the motivation to organize other areas of your life.

At Provident Credit Union, one of our core values is to “get better.” We walk our talk by doing everything we can to help our employees and members improve their lives. We have a reputation for being a great place to work because, in addition to great pay, benefits and a positive work environment, we also give our team paid time off to volunteer for causes they care about, and money to further their educations. For our members, we offer accounts, loans, tools and advice that will truly help them “get better” financially. 

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