Rethinking Resolutions for Overwhelmed People : Don’t Add, Substract

As we welcome a new year, the tradition of setting resolutions offers a moment for reflection and aspiration. However, in our fast-paced lives, there’s a growing inclination towards setting resolutions that simplify our routines, like “I want to cut sweets,” rather than adding new habits such as “I want to follow a new diet.” The idea of removing a habit from our already packed schedules feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s an approach that seems more manageable and less daunting compared to the commitment of new habits.

When we think about cutting out sweets, for instance, it’s a clear, straightforward goal that doesn’t require the extra mental and physical energy to incorporate something new into our routines.

The Psychology Behind Simplifying Resolutions

Let’s consider the mental aspect. Saying, “I will stop watching so much TV,” immediately lifts a burden, creating a sense of relief. It’s about reducing our commitments rather than adding new ones, which can be a welcome change in a hectic lifestyle.

Subtracting doesn’t always mean drastic changes; it’s often about making minor adjustments. These small steps can lead to significant improvements over time. They fit more easily into our daily routines, making the process of sticking to our resolutions more sustainable and less stressful. For example, reducing sugar in your coffee is a small, specific change that’s easy to implement and track. Such manageable steps are crucial for setting goals that don’t overwhelm us, especially when we are balancing multiple responsibilities.

Maintaining Balance in Resolutions

While focusing on subtracting habits is practical, it’s also beneficial to balance this with positive actions that don’t demand much effort. For instance, alongside cutting back on sweets, you might add a simple five-minute meditation to your morning. This balanced approach ensures that we’re not just eliminating but also enhancing our lives in a feasible way.

In today’s fast-paced environment, choosing to subtract rather than add habits in our New Year’s resolutions can be a smart and effective strategy. It’s about acknowledging our current life demands and setting resolutions that are realistic and conducive to our overall well-being.

By Joanna Audi, Psychomotor Therapist & Stress Management Coach

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