Research on Positive Psychology recommends the following three resolutions for the optimists, with the New Years’ Eve coming close.
1. Be the same in the upcoming year, as you were in the last year.
Why does each new year have to bring with it a list of ‘never-dones’? Why does January 1st get filled with “Let me learn Spanish this year.”, “Let me travel more.”, “Let me loose more weight.” Why can’t the focus instead be on all that which you did right last year and on repeating it. Think about a new language you learned the previous year and how you can enhance its usage or the travels you took last year and all the tips and tricks you used to make the journey successful or all the healthy eating patterns you adopted last year. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.
Think back over the past year. What led you to leave a maladaptive relationship? What resulted in you cutting yourself some much needed slack? What led you to redo your apartment? Whatever it was, take a note of it and repeat. New Year Resolutions need not always be about the unattempted but about strengthening the attempted.
2. Don’t repeat a previous resolution.
If going for a run every morning has been on your list for three years then better to scrap it off altogether. You better use this energy on things you are more keen to do and are already doing. It’s better to feed your brain on progress than failures. The amount of energy that goes into convincing yourself for a morning jog can then be utilised for something that you enjoy doing and is good for you like painting or cooking or dancing. This goes along perfectly with the character strengths research that shows you are better off capitalizing on one of your strengths rather than spending all your time on fixing the weaknesses.
3. Stop running after happiness you might receive on finishing a goal.
While writing down your list of resolutions, you might fill up with some anticipatory happiness. But there are two ways we can go from here. Achieve the resolution, be happy for sometime and then start running after something else. Or not achieve the resolution, be sad and ignore our present and past successes altogether. Researchers say that it is better to peg your happiness to the past and the present, rather than attach it to the uncertainty of the future.
So many of the things that fill up your resolutions bucket will not make this a happier year. Things that according to science will make you happier? Being grateful daily for the happenings of the past and the present. Journaling about positive experiences. Sending around thank you notes. Making someone else’s year better through an act of kindness. Being resolved to be happy and kind today, focusing on your strengths (instead of your weaknesses) and giving yourself a break are the keys to your best year ever. So what are your resolutions for 2020 going to be now?