New Year, New You
By Amber Ford
Just as popular as popping champagne and kissing loved ones at midnight, the concept of “new year, new you” resounds as we ring in 2024. Associated with the idea that a new year can bring positive change and a cleansing of unhealthy habits, millions of Americans turn to social media and journaling as a way to underwrite their intentions and set forth on a new and improved path.
According to a Rolling Stone article published in January of 2023, the concept of “new year, new you” does not have to be an uphill, fast-paced race to a better version of oneself. In fact, shorter term and more dramatic changes tend to backfire with little to no success. A previous study by the U.S. News and World Report suggests that nearly 80% of new year’s resolutions will fall short of the goal if the scope is too grand. The article suggests more realistic and attainable goals that have the ability to make slow, more gradual changes.
Similar to weight loss goals and those of breaking unhealthy habits, creating a plan within a designated time frame is more ideal in terms of keeping the “new year, new you” vibe going. The U.S. News and World Report study suggests using a planner and focusing on the first six months of the new year as a means of “baby-stepping” your way toward your goals.
Weight loss and committing to exercise are among the top goals each January. Many gyms double their memberships at the start of the new year but also see those same memberships either quit or become stagnant as the year progresses. The U.S. News and World Report study recommends a slower progression by setting smaller, more obtainable goals. Small adjustments in eating habits and a few weekly visits to the gym beginning with thirty minute workouts have more potential to keep the new year goals going, simultaneously refocusing the mind and body to achieve the overall goal by the six month mark.
While workout and weight loss plans tend to win with regard to the most popular of “new year, new you” goals, changing and/or creating a new mindset are also very popular trends. The U.S. News and World Report study suggests that while exercise and diet are the top tier of resolutions, one cannot progress physically without adjustments to the patterns of thought. The study recommends journaling, self-help books and even various forms of therapy to help encourage alteration of stagnant thought patterns which will, in turn, help those goals become a real part of the change. Whether it is a fitness, financial or emotional resolution, “new year, new you” is possible with the right focus and timeline.