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Why I Ditched Standard Resolutions This Year 

Why I Ditched Standard Resolutions This Year 

By Victoria, Marketing & Communications

 

New Year’s resolutions can be tricky. It’s a balance between keeping them simple enough to not “fall off the wagon” after a week yet meaningful enough to appreciate and value the result.  

I know the feeling of disappointment after a failed New Year’s resolution. After many failed attempts at various resolutions, I learned that in order to keep my resolutions,  I need to keep them simple and realistic.  

According to a 2019 report in Psychology Today, only 19% of people keep their resolutions. The article also notes that, change can’t simply be based on a calendar day. Change is best pursued when the individual is ready. 

For me, focusing on simplicity is key. By sticking to simplicity, I can spare my sanity and those self-deprecating emotions that develop if I break them. Resolutions don’t have to be earth shattering or life changing.  

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for “ABC News” and “Good Morning America,” shared in her 2019 book, “The Self Care Solution,” how her patients would make sweeping changes to their diet and exercise, experience great success and then lose their progress after they were unable to sustain drastic changes to their lifestyle. She proposed an experiment. She started recording her own experience with setting 30-day challenges for herself. 

She found that 30 days was the perfect amount of time to try a new routine. From no alcohol for one month to more cardio and on to simply laughing more, she was able to make sweeping changes to her lifestyle one small step at a time. 

This year my husband and I decided to tackle our “resolutions” one month at a time, much like Ashton. Our January challenge is to read for at least 20 minutes every day. We picked this short time frame because it’s manageable even on the busiest days. So, for the last seven days we’ve diligently read before bed. Most nights we get so enthralled in our books that we end up reading over the 20-minute mark.  

So far in this challenge I’ve noticed I’ll try to get my treadmill time in earlier so I can take a quick shower and get as much reading time as possible because I’m enjoying it so much. I’ve also noticed that I’ve slept more soundly. There are many factors that could play into my quality sleep experience through reading, such as less exposure to blue light since I am reading a paper book, the feeling of accomplishment I have by keeping up with my challenge and the extra exercise my brain gets before bed by reading. 

If you’re looking for a resolution that can improve your overall heath, I would recommend reading for just 20 minutes before bed. By signing up for the library’s Winter Reading Challenge you can also earn prizes in the process. Who doesn’t love those retro campfire mugs? 

Happy reading! 

 

"The Self Care Solution," Jennifer Ashton

"Better Than Before," Gretchen Rubin

"Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything," B.J. Fog

"The Little Book of Big Lies," Tina Lifford

"Year of Yes," Shonda Rhimes

"Atomic Habits," James Clear

More by Jennifer Ashton:

"Life After Suicide," Jennifer Ashton