January is often a time of renewed energy, new goals, and resolutions. We make all these promises to ourselves and others when the first day of the new year rolls around. But by the end of January, a lot of us can already feel that disappointment start to creep in. Have you already broken your resolution? Has the excitement of the new year worn off? Whatever the reason(s) are to be feeling less than positive towards the end of January, there are some things you can do to prevent this feeling from happening.
Making decisions in a calm, thought out manner is a great way to avoid regret in the first place. But we are all human, and sometimes the decisions we make don’t turn out the way we wanted. Recognize the decision you made, why you regret it, and then tie as many positives to it as you can.
Ask yourself, what will I do next time? Sometimes just planning for a different outcome can help our regret. If we feel better prepared for similar future decisions, we don’t place so much weight on the decision we made that we regret.
If your regret has to do with a resolution you made for New Years, reach out to a friend or family member to help you stay accountable. If we know we have someone else to rely on, or someone who is also participating in the same goal, we are more likely to succeed.
Trying to set ourselves up for success is a good way to achieve our goals and experience less regret. Whatever goal, resolution, or decision we are making, be realistic and start small. Want to get in better shape and are vowing to work out everyday? Start with 2x a week, and increase from there. Want to have better communication with your partner or loved one? Start with something small to improve communication, like setting aside one hour a week to talk to each other about what’s going in your lives.
When we set ourselves up with high expectations, we often regret or feel disappointment if we don’t meet those expectations. But are those expectations attainable in the first place? Whatever is making you feel regret, try some of these suggestions and set yourself up for better outcomes. Check out this article over at The New York Times by Malia Wollen on How To Have Fewer Regrets.