If you look back on your 2020 resolutions, you may be chuckling to yourself at how the universe threw us all a big ol’ curveball. Given the unexpected circumstances of this year, perhaps it’s a sign to all of us to reframe how we think about goal-setting in January. After all, even during more “normal” times, New Year’s aspirations tend to be hard to keep.
As licensed marriage and family therapist Hanna Stensby explains, too often, we create intimidating, momentous resolutions that lack small, attainable accomplishments along the way. This sets us up for failure since few can maintain the same enthusiasm from January 1 until December 31. “The new energy of the first few days of the year can start to wane as life gets in the way, busy schedules start to fill up, and the motivation to stick with an ambitious resolution can fade,” she says. “Resolutions tend to be large changes to habits or lifestyle which take tons of energy to realize.”
So, rather than declaring you’ll become a morning person when you are naturally a night owl, consider a different approach. We spoke with mental health experts on the best alternatives to resolution-setting that boost our confidence, happiness and productivity: