The New Year’s Resolution That Can Change Your Life

My New Year’s resolution always starts with the best of intentions: I write down my goal with bravado, ready to make a big change. But within weeks or months, I taper off into my old habits. It’s not just me; only 8 percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions all year long, revealing that barely any of us stick with our goals.

Recently, I realized that maybe the reason New Year’s resolutions don’t stick is because they add another requirement to our to-do list. We pack our lives full of work, friends, family, and 24/7 technology, so it’s easy to understand why one more expectation pushes us over the edge.

As Tim Kreider discusses in the New York Times, we’re too busy. Feeling tired and exhausted is the status quo, and if we’re relaxed and fulfilled, we assume it’s because we’re not doing enough. Many of us, especially parents, are overworked, overcommitted, and stretched to our limits. It’s all too easy to get pulled into the busy trap, and forward-thinking resolutions just add to that tendency.

This year, I’m aiming for a New Year’s resolution that asks less rather than more: slowing down. Imagine if you gave yourself more time to get where you needed to go, cut down on your obligations, and let go of activities that didn’t give you any joy. In the buildup to the holidays, I’m already shifting toward that direction. I’ve found that, despite societal wisdom, I actually get more done when I slow down to a snail’s pace: I’m present with each task, open to new ideas, and responsive to the people around me.

As you approach the holidays, create easy resolutions that honor your need to slow down and affirm your own well-being. Unlike with other resolutions that require more hard work, you’re bound to see a big payoff.

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