new years resolution 2023

7 questions to ask yourself before making new year resolutions for 2023

Since the new year is just round the corner, it’s time to think of resolutions. But let’s sit with a pen and paper and ask ourselves these questions before making them.

Openly or secretly, most of us make resolutions whenever a new year knocks on our door. A new year is like a new beginning, motivating us to accept challenges and go head to head with our fears. Through these resolutions, we pledge to overcome the obstacles hindering our growth. But sadly, a high percentage of these new years resolutions do not last even beyond the first month of the year! This is indeed heart-breaking for something we go in trusting so much!

A new year resolution set up after due thought and consideration, can be path defining. According to the Journal Management Review, SMART is what your goals should be – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. What if we apply this to our resolutions too? A thought or resolve can bear fruit only when it is carefully planned and deliberated upon.  So will it not be more appropriate to do some homework before setting up a resolution?

It can be extremely helpful if we ask ourselves a few questions before setting up our resolutions for 2023. We have listed here a few questions that you can ask yourself before readying your new years resolutions.

Do I feel passionate about this resolution?

Once a thought has cemented firmly in your mind, give yourself a few more days with it. If the thought persists and you feel strongly about it, ask yourself why it is so important to you. The resulting clarity will give you enough motivation to go ahead with your resolution and to plan it well.

Examine how the resolution fits in your growth plan. A resolution is always about moving out of your comfort zone while being in sync with your core values and vision. “If you are serious about changing your life, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” I stumbled upon this popular quote while scrolling through social media. As if there is a connection, scrolling aimlessly whenever there is an urge is something I want to resolve to do away with.

Am I setting up a realistic resolution?

The next question to ask yourself is how realistic your resolution is. The first and foremost thing is whether it is doable or not. If I resolve to not glance through social media at all, then it becomes an unrealistic goal. Social media feeds us with relevant and informative content if we choose to go through it carefully. However, designating a time in the day to do so is much better than scrolling through it at random hours.

In the same vein, if you are setting a resolution to leave a habit, then make sure that you do it at a gradual pace. The same applies for acquiring a habit. Sudden changes in one’s behaviour pattern can be difficult to subscribe to. I remember a friend who resolved to a fruit and vegetable diet at the start of the year. Unfortunately, she had to give it up soon, since her lifestyle and work included eating out. Subsequently, she decided to choose abundant fruits and vegetables in her diet with scope of ‘cheat days’ in between. This plan worked better for her. In most cases, resolutions that give space to moderation are the ones we can sustain.

How will I achieve this goal?

Any resolution requires a definite plan to sustain and achieve. Once you have decided on a new year goal, sit with a pen and paper to formulate a plan to achieve it. Ponder long and hard to make it a definite goal. “Begin with the end in mind,” these emphatic words by Stephen Covey, the illustrious author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, clearly convey the importance of setting a deadline to your goal.

You should be completely focused and clear about how the future will alter when you achieve this goal. A definite roadmap will help you go through this step-by-step process smoothly.

What will I do if I get the urge to give up?

It is perfectly normal to have the urge to give up on the resolutions we have made, even those made with a steely determination. It feels like a complete let down when the spirit is broken or when there seems a tendency to go back. But it happens more often than we think.

It is important to remember that a new year resolution should last a year. If we think about the entire duration, it might seem overwhelming. So learn to break down the entire process into smaller timeframes. When we achieve the goals for that timeframe, we can reward ourselves suitably and keep going ahead. And remember, the process of going ahead includes the days in between when we seem to give up. This way, a new year resolution will last and also achieve what it was meant to.

Who will help me in achieving my resolution?

Communicate your desire to achieve your resolution to a trusted friend or family member. Rather than keeping it a secret, it is advisable to share and seek motivation from someone you rely on. You can even find a ‘resolution buddy’ by working and achieving towards your set goals together. As socially connected beings, it is best to share goals and seek mutual motivation.

For instance, set a resolution of performing x number of suryanamaskars every day. If you do this with a friend who is a yoga enthusiast, you will find it more sustainable and will get an added advantage of spending quality time with your ‘goal buddy’.

What will be my reward upon accomplishing the resolution?

Remember to celebrate each win, small or big. As you pat yourself on the back after each goal, you inch closer towards achieving your set new years resolution. The famous Latin proverb ‘After the battles comes the rewards’, reinforces the notion that rewarding yourself suitably upon accomplishing the resolution is one of the best ways to celebrate and motivate.

For instance, take that holiday you always wanted, buy your favourite accessory or gadget as a reward for accomplishing your new years resolution. Remember that you are one of the few who have been able to culminate their new year’s goals.

This success also paves way for further goal setting and the zeal to keep growing and setting goals remains high.

How will my resolution help me become better?

Last but certainly not the least is to ask how the resolution will help in improving oneself. Clearly visualize as well as note down the advantages one may acquire upon accomplishing the resolution.

Once we know the advantages and keep repeating them to ourselves, the resolve to work towards the goal gets stronger. After all, new years resolutions are a way to make us a better version of ourselves. So we must work towards it with not just determination but as much clarity and a plan to see it happen for real!

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