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When setting New Year’s resolutions, listen to Yoda

“Do or do not; there is no try.”

Some of us might be feeling a little extra plump right now from recent holiday indulgences, such as turkey, shortbread, or those festive beverages.

Others might be looking back on the year and are feeling disappointment about past goals going unmet.

So what do many of us do at this time of year?

Plan some New Year’s resolutions.

Often these are focused on health, such as going to the gym more, eating better, or getting more sleep.

But they also often touch on financials — spending less, saving more, or abstaining from those dreaded (though fun) impulse buys.

These are all admirable aspirations.

But we often fall short on our goals.

For a variety of psychological reasons, many of us start determined on our resolutions, but fall back into old habits before long.

I’m here to say there’s no shame in skipping making resolutions altogether.

It’s been a tough year.

We’ve dealt with fires, flooding, and that thing I’d rather not even mention that keeps dragging on and on.

But you’re still here. And that’s something to celebrate and be content with in itself — and there’s much to look forward to in 2022.

We’re often our toughest critics. In many cases, the things you think you must change might not be that big of a deal anyway.

You’re probably doing better than you think.

Maybe the most important resolution is for all of us to be kinder to ourselves.

A wise person once told me self love is the first love.

But perhaps you still feel inclined to make a more tangible resolution.

However, I’d say if your heart is not in it, why bother?

You’re only setting yourself to be let down.

In the words of Master Yoda, “do or do not; there is no try.”

If you’re truly committed to making a change, I commend you. Change is not easy.

Much like how there is psychology research on why many fail, there are studies on why some succeed.

There are several recommendations to making a resolution actually be met.

Often these relate to the concept of ‘SMART’ — setting goals that are specific (don’t be vague), measurable (track your progress with notes or photos), achievable (don’t set the bar too high), relevant (doing the right thing for the right reasons), and time-bound (set goals for both the short- and long-term).

Whatever you decide, keep it to yourself.

It’s also been shown that telling the world about your goals actually makes it less likely to achieve them.

This is because doing so provides a sense of achievement — before you’ve even done anything.

You can do it.

But should you fail, don’t be hard on yourself — there’s always Lent in a few months to try all over again.

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