Fresh start, clean slate, new beginning, it’s that time of year! We’ve turned another page on the calendar, and perhaps for you, that also means turning over a new leaf.
The new year can be a great time to commit to new habits and make important improvements, but it’s smart to tackle these tasks with the right mindset. If you want your resolutions to stick, you need to go about it sensibly and maybe even employ some strategies.
Nothing New About New Year’s Resolutions
It turns out New Year’s resolutions aren’t just a product of our modern views on self-improvement and our “living your best life” culture. They’ve actually been around for thousands of years!
The first recorded resolutions trace back to the Babylonian civilization
They were the first to record holding celebrations in honor of the new year. Theirs revolved heavily around planting the new year’s crops, which occurred in March, not January, but it did mark a new beginning and fresh start and was cause for a huge celebration.
During this time, individuals made promises to the gods that they would repay any debts or return any items they borrowed. By upholding these promises, they’d enjoy the gods’ favor for the upcoming year.
The Romans also had a hand in creating what we know today as the new year. They established the new year’s beginning on January 1st. The month gets its namesake from the god Janus whose spirit inhabited doorways and entrances due to his connection with new beginnings. The god is often depicted as having two faces and was believed to have the ability to look both back into the past and forward into the future. Thinking he could see their future selves, the Romans made sacrifices to Janus promising good behavior in the new year.
For early Christians, the first day of the year was an occasion for thinking about your past mistakes and failures and vowing to fix them and do better in the future. It was common to attend Covenant Renewal Services, church services where self-reflection, repentance, and renewing your commitment to God were a way to move forward into the new year bound to your faith.
The practice doesn’t have religious roots any longer. Instead of making promises to the gods, we mostly make them to ourselves, but the idea is the same: it’s a new year, and we’re committing to being the best version of ourselves.
What the Statistics Say
Statistically, we aren’t so resolute with our resolutions. Around 64% of people who make New Year’s resolutions admit to breaking them within a month.
With all the hype and hope, why the disappointing results? Many times the lack of success in sticking to a resolution comes from the way we set out to start them. Sometimes it’s just too much too quickly, and we overwhelm ourselves to the point of giving up.
If you’ve been hesitant to make a resolution this year because of past failures, or you just want some great ideas for habit forming, read on for a great take on resolutions.
Alter Your Approach
One of the most interesting finds in studies regarding goal setting has to do with the language used to frame the goal. Researchers have found that individuals are more likely to reach approach-oriented goals rather than avoidance-oriented goals. Approach versus avoidance simply requires a small shift in thinking.
Using the approach style, a goal is formulated to focus on the positive results, while an avoidance goal has negativity at its heart. For example, an approach-oriented goal might sound like, “I will keep my home comfy and clean because it makes me feel good.” Whereas an avoidance-oriented goal is more like, “I will sweep, fold laundry, and wash the dishes every day.”
Any goal can be created in this way, and it’s likely to keep you more interested in creating positive habits rather than dreading something you feel you have to do or something that feels like punishment.
This idea is a real game-changer for starting with small improvements. Chances are you already have certain habits you participate in daily. You likely brush your teeth, brew your coffee, prepare a meal, watch a show, or walk your dog; any of these everyday activities can help you with habit stacking.
The idea is that you take something you already do every day and stack an additional positive action on top of it. For example, tell yourself after I brew my coffee, I will practice gratitude. Decide you’ll stack a short journal session while you sip!
Take a moment to meditate after that meal; read a chapter before you reach for the remote. Think of ways to stack a desirable habit on one you already enjoy daily.
Make it About Someone Else
Incorporating kindness toward others is a fun way to feel good about your resolutions. Maybe making a better you means making someone else’s day!
Here are some great suggestions for making kindness a regular practice:
- Give one compliment each day
- Make a point to enter every room with a smile
- Say hello to at least five people daily
- Participate in a charity event or volunteer project
- Treat a special friend or family member to lunch or coffee once a month
Manifesting and Mindfulness
You want to make something happen this year? Use your mind. Manifesting is all about attaining what you want by channeling your behaviors, thoughts, and emotions to align with your beliefs.
Some basic tips for manifesting:
- Have a vision
- Feel strongly
- Take action
- Be thankful
Realize Your Vision
Have fun creating a vision board. Vision boards can be integral in keeping your goals top of mind. Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals and dreams.
Sometimes they’re made as a physical poster, and sometimes, they’re made digitally, but they’re intended to depict images that connect to what you hope to accomplish.
You can make them about just one specific goal, or they can encompass the bigger picture of what you see yourself achieving; the point is that they inspire you to stay on target!
Whether you’re looking to break an old habit or start a new healthy regimen, there is strength in numbers. Find those friends who are willing to give it a go with you! You look to gain accountability and strengthen social bonds. So many of the most common resolutions make for great group activities.
If reading more is on your list this year, consider creating a book club. There are endless fun and easy ideas for gathering to talk about favorite titles.
- Choosing a book club theme
- “Traveling” to a different country in each book
- Reading a series
- Reading books that are movies and having watch parties
- Having your club participate in a reading challenge
Check out Red Moon’s recommendations for excellent reads regarding women’s health and wellness!
If taking a step back from booze is something you’re considering, why not host weekly mocktail hours? Take turns with your other lower alcohol acquaintances planning fun get-togethers that revolve around delicious and creative alcohol-free concoctions.
There are tons of interesting new products out there for the sober curious, and you can get creative with combinations and serving styles.
Having others help you stay consistent with your fitness goals is a powerful tool for success. Maybe meeting someone at set times during the week will help you get to the gym. Walking with a group can be more fun and help the time pass quicker than when you’re alone. Signing up with friends for a fitness class may help you look forward to it more.
Perhaps your goal is to be more generous in 2023; get together with giving in mind! Organize a beach clean up, run a charity 5k, or plan a donation drive in your community. There are many ways you can serve your community, and all of them can involve friends.
Red Moon Resolves to Continue our Commitment
For us, the new year means a continued opportunity to provide premium period care to all who need it. We’ve always sought ways to expand our period positive message and lend support in achieving your holistic health and wellness goals.
Let 2023 be the year you improve your period wellness by adding Red Moon to your routine.
Alison Ferrell is the co-founder of Red Moon and has a passion for helping others discover peace and comfort amidst reproductive health issues. Alison draws on her deep empathy for those who’ve suffered from Endometriosis and reproductive illnesses as inspiration for her business. You can connect with her on Linkedin.