Congratulations! You’ve made it through the holidays. You plowed through Christmas like a champ, eating and drinking everything delicious—and a few frightening things. Hopefully, you lasted through New Year’s Eve without getting locked in a Taco Bell bathroom or telling EVERYONE “I love you, man.” Yes, it’s a new year. And like so many other people, you’ve either made your resolutions and already failed at them, or you’re still figuring out what to resolve to do this year. Not sure what goals to set for yourself for 2017 or looking for some better ones? We’re here to help! Read on for some advice on how to make resolutions that will stick. And how to bounce back when they don’t.
New year, same you
Many people approach a new year thinking it will be the year where everything changes, when in reality the only thing that is different is the year itself. Didn’t fall for the “everything turns around this year” myth? Then consider yourself lucky that you were able recognize that confining change to 365 days beginning each January is a recipe for disaster. January (and February) is simply not the time to give up the things you love most—you’re coming off the highs of the holidays, it’s colder and grayer, and there are very few things to look forward to (i.e., holidays)—so giving up a few of your favorite things? Terrible idea. Plus, evolution and growth should be continuous. If primitive man had only given himself one year to develop a bigger brain, do you think he would’ve been successful? The answer to that would be a groan, because none of us would even be able to construct that question or its answer. No, the true keys to success for keeping resolutions and, therefore, growing, are knowing how high/low to set the bar and how to revise once failure hits.
Stack the cards, beat the odds
Setting resolutions is a funny business. A unique equation must be balanced to ensure success. When deciding on them, there are a few basic tenets to keep in mind:
Think (and speak) like a lawyer
Keeping a resolution achievable is all in the wording. Forget saying that you will quit drinking or read War and Peace. These things won’t happen. So don’t set yourself up for defeat by saying any such thing. Quit drinking? Why not quit drinking poorly? With a Home Brewed Kit, one of the best drinking gifts for men, you can achieve just that by stocking your bar with your own flavorful brew.
Instead of reading War and Peace, how about “enjoying” it by watching the movie? Henry Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer are far better equipped to handle such drama—let them do the heavy lifting.
Go big—or small—or go home
Setting the bar too high can be disastrous. Hiking Everest might be out of reach, but finding a peak that is more realistic to conquer will ensure that you accomplish this goal (while getting more exercise and getting outside more, perhaps two additional resolutions to consider). Still think that’s a bit too lofty? An easy solution to this can be found in the form of an Everest Grill Crate. No, it won’t get you to the top of a mountain, but it is one of the best gifts for men, and its Himalayan salt block and cookbook will help you reach the pinnacle of grilling flavor.
Setting the bar too high can alternatively be the smartest thing to do. Resolving to become the next King of England is just silly, not to mention impossible. So when you don’t get the crown, no one will be let down, including you. No guilt, no shame, no pressure of being a part of the British Monarchy. Phew.
Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley,” which, despite its somewhat strange sounding Scots verbiage, is easy to decipher: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how much planning goes into a scheme, sometimes things just don’t work out. Promised yourself you would stop eating pizza but find yourself digging into a large meatball and sausage mid-January? No problem. Hit restart. Or simply accept that eating pizza isn’t the worst thing you could be doing and enjoy that pie. Either way, being able to rebound once things go bust will make resolutions much easier. And attainable.
Stick to it
Still not sure which way to go with your resolutions? Perhaps James Agate had the best resolution suggestion: “To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.” If that doesn’t quite fit your vibe, here are some easy ways to start making this your best year yet! Or just another year. No judgement.