Take a breather.
Resolutions are notorious for falling by the wayside a few months or even days into the New Year. A 2012 University of Scranton study revealed that only 8 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving them. This low success rate may relate to the fact that many of us are more inclined to center our resolutions on self-criticism than on real aspirations or desires. Rarely do we set a goal to spend more time joking around with friends or listening to music we enjoy. Rather, our resolutions tend to focus on “fixing” our flaws or “correcting” our failures. This negative viewpoint comes from a “critical inner voice” we all possess that alerts us of what we need to fix, while reminding us that we won’t succeed. Filtering our personal goals through this critical lens only sets us up for failure. With that in mind, this year, I want to propose a new list of deeply rewarding and reachable resolutions. These activities have been proven to benefit us on every level, increasing both the quality and length of our lives.