The practice of making New Year's resolutions dates back approximately 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. Needless to say, if you are aiming to improve upon yourself now that the calendar has turned past December 31st, you’re in historically good company.
Whether you’re seeking laser hair removal to experience smoother skin this year or have another goal in mind altogether, success starts with understanding why we set goals in the first place.
Why We Set New Year’s Resolutions
We set goals in an effort to become the best version of ourselves. As the new year is perceived as a time of change, we often look to leave behind any of our prior failings and move forward — reenergized and ready to realize a happier and healthier version of ourselves.
Researchers have found New Year’s resolutions are particularly popular thanks to our collective fascination with temporal milestones, or something dubbed “the fresh-start effect.” In other words, there’s something hardwired into our brains that makes us predisposed toward setting new goals around the turn of the year.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) find that New Year’s resolutions can have positive lasting effects. But how can you give yourself the best chance at realizing your weight loss, laser hair removal, or career-oriented dreams?
How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions a Reality
Now that you have a handle on why you’re inclined to make New Year’s resolutions, let’s focus on best practices for making your dreams a reality.
Set realistic, attainable goals. Try to avoid pie-in-the-sky resolutions that put unrealistic expectations on yourself.
Be specific. Instead of saying “I want to enjoy less frequent shaving by removing all the unwanted hair from my body,” start with a more specific goal of “Research local hair removal specialists by February 1st.” Specificity can be key to following through on your New Year’s resolutions.
Write your goals down. Ensure your New Year’s resolutions are all clearly stated and posted in a place that will help them serve as a constant reminder.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Some goals are naturally going to feel more important to you than others. Setting up a hierarchy of which New Year's resolutions matter, most to least, will help you zero in on the goals most likely to bring you the greatest amount of happiness, whether that's laser hair removal around your bikini line or elsewhere on your body.
Tell your friends. If your best pals are aware of your New Year’s resolutions, there’s a fantastic chance they’ll “put your feet to the fire,” holding you accountable when you slack off and neglect to return a call to your laser hair removal specialist, for example.
Celebrate your progress. You don’t have to fully realize each of your goals before taking time out to reflect on how far you’ve come. Any amount of progress is a cause for celebration, whether you’ve lost a few pounds, applied for that big new job, or noticed smoother skin.
- Practice patience. Again, progress doesn’t happen all at once. Remember to take deep breaths, get a good night’s rest, and return to your hopes and aspirations the next day. You might even try meditation to re-center yourself when you’re feeling down and frustrated.
Now here’s the really good news: In their study, the NIH found that information on New Year’s resolutions best practices, as gleaned from the internet, could improve your likelihood of success. So just by reading this article, you may already be one step closer to all your laser hair removal goals!