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Do’s and Don’ts of an Effective New Year’s Resolution

New Year's Resolution

“We will open the book; its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Pierce


New Year's ResolutionA week from now, it’s gonna be a champagne toasting, fireworks popping, whistleblowing and ball-dropping kind of event!

And just like that another year is coming to an end and New Year’s Eve is just around the corner.  To many of us, this is the best time of the year to reflect upon ourselves.  Aside from being grateful and singing Auld Lang Syne, we take New Year as another chance for us to make things right or do even better than the year that was. Hence, our belief in the power of New Year’s Resolutions.

But can New Year’s Resolutions do us more harm than good? In an article released by Business Insider, Harvard Business School social psychologist and author of the book “Presence,” Amy Cuddy, says “We’re really bad at setting reasonable goals!  And when we don’t meet an unreasonable goal, we fill ourselves with feelings of anxiety and lower our self-worth.” 

According to Amy, there are four common mistakes with New Year’s resolutions:

  1. They deal with absolutes.

“People are making absolute statements about what they’re going to do, and that’s setting them up for failure immediately,” Cuddy said, “because they’re not always going to go to the gym three times a week.”

  1. They are framed by negativity.

If you say, “I’m going to stop eating junk food,” to use an example, you’re denigrating yourself before even getting started. You’re better off framing your goal as “eating healthier” so that you’ll remain motivated and optimistic.

  1. They are focused on the outcome and not the process.

“If you’re focused on walking 100 miles, and you’re just constantly focused on that number 100 miles and trying to track your progress, it’s going to be pretty friggin’ demoralizing most of the way.”

  1. They are reliant on outside forces.

And finally, it’s a bad idea to incorporate other people and moments of luck into your goal-setting.


(Please click on the link for the full article: Harvard Business School Professor explains the Dangers of New Year’s Resolution)


Having to know the common mistakes with New Year’s Resolution, let’s get some inspiration from Five Positive Psychology Resolutions for the New Year written by Patty O’Grady Ph.D., posted in psychology today.


  1. Become More Emotionally Aware

Be aware of every raw or processed emotion that you feel every minute of every day. New Year’s resolutions are intended to change us into different people. However, the only variable that truly changes us – transforms us for better or worse – is our emotion.

  1. Find Your Designer Strength

So how would you brand yourself? What is your designer “label”? Are you brave? Funny? Determined? The key to substantive change is to find your designer strength and use it. Every time – especially when you are most discouraged or disappointed – and when you most want to give up. Help your students find their designer strength and use it as their superpower.

  1. Do Not Neglect Friends

In this rushed and harried world, it is often hard to maintain meaningful and intimate friendships. Make time every day in your own life, and in your classroom, to acknowledge and appreciate your friends – the ones you have in your life and the ones you should invite into your life.

  1. Be of Service to Other People

Every day in the New Year, do something for someone else.

  1. Stay Excited

A resolution is accomplished only if you do not allow enthusiasm to wane.


(You can find the full article here: Five Positive Psychology Resolutions for the New Year)


And for School Psychologists, Erin N. King, Ed.S., NCSP of schoolpsychologistfiles shared these three New Year’s Resolution for you!

  1. Keep calm:

Just like every year, there will be many “frustrating” moments where you are smiling politely on the outside and yelling “really?!”  Keep calm in the moment, breathe, and move forward.  Remember all of the good reasons that you love being a School Psychologist.

  1. Be healthy:
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink plenty of water.
  • Support your immune system! Take high-quality vitamins and use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils that have antiviral and antibacterial properties
  • Be Active! Carve out time to exercise, because carrying 20 bags around doesn’t count.  It only makes you lopsided.  There is so much research showing how exercise helps our mental health, our cognitive health, as well as our physical health.
  1. Master the art of time management:
  • Always have a backup plan. If you plan to test and you find out both kids you needed that day are on a field trip, start writing a report or do some observations.
  • Stay on top of your referral list. The referrals are pouring in.  The time is soon coming when all of those referrals are due.  Don’t fall behind. With early planning and discipline, you can avoid the last minute report writing rut. When the referral list is getting long, count out how many reports need to be written each week to ensure that you aren’t writing 5 a week in May.  Carve out a plan and stick with it! The earlier you start, the better off you will be.


(This link will lead you to the full article: Three New Year’s Resolutions for School Psychologist)


We are not in any way affiliated with bloggers/school psychologists mentioned above.  However, we admire their rational thoughts to make your New Year’s Resolution more effective and realistic!


“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”― Oprah Winfrey