There’s a reason why everyone’s so big on New Year’s resolutions. When people want to make a change in their life, they start at what’s called a “temporal milestone”. This phenomenon is referred to as the “fresh-start effect”.
Well, here at The Latch we’re not huge on New Year’s resolutions. Not because we’re the NYE version of The Grinch (…is that still just The Grinch?), but because they don’t really work. Don’t believe us? Even research says that many, if not the majority of, New Year’s resolutions are ultimately abandoned.
So if you’re looking to set a goal in the New Year, we’re with you. In fact, one way to successfully achieve goals is to focus on both superordinate and subordinate goals. If you’re sitting there thinking, “Kate, what the hell are you talking about?”…buckle up.
A superordinate goal is often open-ended, for example: “I want to be a person who lives a healthy life.” Big, broad, and can’t be achieved in a single step. Whereas subordinate goals – small, specific, achievable – boosts performance. One study found that this approach works particularly well.
If you’re looking for another way to achieve your goal, a different study found that 58.9% of participants with approach-oriented goals were significantly more successful than those with avoidance-oriented goals – the latter only saw a success rate of 47.1%.
So now that we’ve covered the science of why setting goals is superior to making resolutions – and how you can successfully set them – here’s are a few of the goals The Latch team are setting for the New Year.
To run 5k without stopping
Kate Evans, wellness producer
“Earlier this year, a friend inspired me to download a ‘couch to 5k’ app. I (slowly) started running three times a week at my local gym. I only got halfway through before my depression hit…followed by lockdown. Next year I’m aiming to finish what I started. I also want to run 5k outside, as opposed to just on a treadmill.”
Committing to meditation
Alexandra McCarthy, beauty & wellness editor
“My goal for 2021 is to commit to meditation. I have practiced it on and off for years, but after doing it daily for a few months earlier this year, I noticed such a difference in my mental state and general anxiety levels. I have fallen off the bandwagon with it recently, so I’m aiming to make it a regular thing once again.”
Never, ever getting sunburnt again
Katie Skelly, lifestyle editor
“I’ve committed to never, ever getting sunburnt again. I established this goal a couple of years ago, and I plan to continue the commitment every day of every year from now on. I recently invested in a wide-brimmed hat and I’m continuing on the hunt for the perfect SPF!”
Being kinder to myself
Anita Anabel, entertainment editor
“I’ve committed to being kinder to myself. Mentally, physically and emotionally. We’ve only got one life to live and I feel like I’ve spent 34 years treating the one person who is there for me always — me — terribly. 2020 was a year of growth and 2021 will be putting it into practice.”
It’s all about food
Lyndsey Rodrigues, entertainment and news producer
“I love to cook and I love trying new restaurants so in 2021 (COVID pending) I really want to explore new cuisines both at home and out and about.
I feel as though there are so many diverse cultures that make up this amazing country and, seeing as we can’t actually travel overseas, I want to be transported by food. I’m committed to making a new recipe or trying a new restaurant every month in 2021.
Oh, and I want to somehow avoid turning 40…”