Making New Year’s resolutions

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year?

It’s tempting to coincide the start of a fresh calendar with a range of self-improvement goals. An Ipsos poll from recent years found that, come Jan. 1, Canadians are most likely to resolve to live a healthier lifestyle, have a positive outlook and spend more time with friends and family.

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They’re all worthwhile goals, but it turns out only 27 per cent of people will follow through on them. So what’s the best way to capitalize on the fresh start that January offers?

The key is to pick the right resolutions, according to New York Times’ columnist, Jen Miller. Her research found that you should choose goals that are SMART: specific — with clear resolutions — measurable so that you can see your progress, achievable, meaning you’re not aiming too high, relevant, in that your goal matters to you and time-bound, meaning you can reasonably achieve it.

The goal is to build a new habit that lasts long-term, not just until you get bored at the gym.

In the Sea to Sky corridor, our resolutions might look a little different than in other places. They aren’t usually focused on shedding a few pounds, but rather on tackling a new distance by foot or on bike, skiing or snowboarding somewhere new and challenging or visiting a new destination.

Those are all great goals —bestowing upon us a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment — but by focusing on the same activities and passion year after year, you run the risk of never changing and growing.

That’s fine, particularly if you’re enjoying yourself. But eventually, the weeks will run into months, the months into years, and soon each New Year will become indistinguishable from the last.

What’s the key to enjoying the lifestyle you’ve chosen for yourself and ensuring you’re still on a path to becoming a multifaceted, well-rounded, contributing member of society? Everyone is different, but maybe one way is to make your resolution to try something completely new this year, to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and learn what it’s like to tackle something new.

Try a yoga class, volunteer for an organization you admire, sign up for a writing workshop, buy tickets to a show you’ve never experienced. Not only could it lead you on a new path to a new passion, but you might be surprised to discover some amazing new locals out there as well.

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