Opinion Column

Get started before the year ends

By Bianca Bujan

I’m all for self-improvement. If someone strives to be a better person, they should be applauded for wanting to take action, not criticized. But there’s something about aligning those life-changing goals with the final moments of a closing year that has me rolling my eyes and shaking my head.

 

So many people make New Year’s resolutions with good intentions, but those resolutions are rarely achieved. In fact, several studies have shown that a mere 8% of the people who make resolutions actually follow through and achieve those goals by the end of the year.

Every December, I am inundated with stories from family and friends who share their plans for a new year — a fresh start. They plan to eat healthier, exercise more, save more money, and spend more time with family and friends. And while I try to be as supportive as I can, I’m left to wonder: if that person were really invested in improving themselves, would they have waited until the flip of a calendar page to create a plan of action?

Would they feel it necessary to proclaim their plans to the world (on the same day as everyone else), instead of just deciding internally to take those steps towards change?

But while I may question the timing and public proclamations of those resolution makers, I don’t think those are the primary reasons why so many people fail at attaining their goals year after year. I think most people drop the ball soon after the ball has dropped because they are making blue-sky wishes as opposed to setting attainable, specific goals for themselves.

Instead of wanting to “lose some weight in the New Year,” try making a list of the changes you can make to your everyday routine to make your aspirations come to fruition. For example, change your weight loss goal to “I will take one exercise class per week, and will replace greasy fast food breakfasts with healthy smoothies on weekdays.”

Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year will be much easier to achieve than attempting to complete large bucket lists or extreme makeovers.

Don’t plan for changes based on the flip of a calendar page, start making changes today based on specific and actionable goals and you just might achieve your New Year’s resolutions in 2016. Hopefully this will be the year that we all get one step closer to the people that we strive to be.

Until then, this mommy is grounded.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, freelance writer, and marketing consultant. She tweets at @bitsofbee and blogs at bitsofbee.com.