Keeping True to Your New Year Resolutions


How is that new year resolution coming along? Have you lost weight? Read more books? Or kept your room clean for more than one day? Whatever your resolution for a better 2020, psychologists say, there are three key ingredients to a successful new year resolution.  

Most people find it hard to keep resolutions because “these plans come when we are in the middle of the holiday high,” said Ms. Devika Kumar, a case manager at the Institute of Mental Health. Stress levels are low and motivation remains high until we get back to regular life and regular responsibilities, she added. To remedy this, “we need to be able to have the correct set of tools and structure in place to manage our stress and also achieve the new year goals.”

Speaking to Hibiki, Ms. Kumar said a successful new year resolution has three key ingredients. 

First, “focus on self by being kind to oneself, mindful of things, positive self-talk or setting boundaries,” she said. For example, if exercising three times a week is your goal, focus on yourself and remember the benefits you’ll get from it. This way, you’ll stay motivated longer and thus reach your goal successfully. 

Secondly, your resolution should have personal meaning. “Having a more purposeful goal would be easier to achieve,” said Ms. Kumar. For example, she said she exercises so that she can spend more time with her family. It helps her “remain present and more energised to spend more time with them.” 

And lastly, set realistic goals. “They need to be personal and build your confidence,” said the psychologist, adding that people should “try to reward the small steps and hard work along the way.”

Any advice for students? Ms. Kumar said students should focus on improving their mental health. “Try to set smaller goals to improve your health,” she said. For example, she suggested that students spend more time on themselves and check off small goals on their bucket list. Something as simple as reading a book for 15 minutes goes a long way.

“No goal or resolution is difficult to keep,” Ms. Kumar said. “Any goal can be broken down into achievable steps as long as it comes from within.” So if you’ve been procrastinating about reading a good mystery book, pick one up today and read. It will set you on the path to success for the year!