Forget your typical New Year’s resolutions for 2021 — we all know how well they worked out in 2020.
According to researchers, resolving to do things like eat healthier, exercise more or make more money aren’t actually best for you.
“The evidence shows that most of the time people aren’t successful at them,” says Richard Ryan, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Rochester. “That is because most of these midnight resolutions look more like pressure coming from the outside — an attempt to look better, relieve guilt, or meet the standards of others.”
Instead, Ryan says, focus on goals that include giving back to others and improving our world. Those will be the most satisfying, especially as the world deals with COVID-19.
“Think of how you can help. There’s a lot of distress out there: If we can set goals that aim to help others, those kinds of goals will, in turn, also add to our own well-being,” Ryan explains. “If you want to make a New Year’s resolution that really makes you happy, think about the ways in which you can contribute to the world.”
Adds Ryan: “…The research shows it’s not just good for the world but also really good for you.”