It's well known fact that something like 92 percent of New Year's Resolutions fail. Why such an incredibly low success rate? Perhaps because so many of us resolve to do things like eat more kale or start a grueling exercise routines that make us feel (initially) awful.
But what if you could resolve to do something that would instantly bring your more joy and greater energy instead? Science (and common sense) suggest that we're more likely to stick with pleasant resolutions. For many introverts that's a total possibility.
Simply by determining to accept your natural preferences for quieter settings and your limited bandwidth for certain types of socializing and adjusting your schedule accordingly, you can easily make 2017 happier and more pleasant than previous years.
Looking for more specifics? Over on The Quiet Revolution blog Jennifer Grannemann offers 12 concrete suggestions. Here are just a few to get you started.
1. Stop pretending to be extrovert.
Maybe you've seen research that shows extroverts tend to get ahead at work (at least in some situations) and have vowed to suck it up and do your best extrovert impersonation every day at the office. This is the year you need to put that mistaken belief aside.
"Research from the University of Maryland suggests that acting falsely extroverted can lead to burnout, stress, and cardiovascular disease. Turns out, embracing your introverted nature isn't just a feel-good axiom--it's actually good for your physical health," notes Grannemann.
2. No more guilt over leaving early.
Like many introverts Grannemann used to feel guilty when she was the first one to leave a party or other social event. Did other attendees think she didn't like them? Was she being rude? But she's since changed her ways and significantly improved her well being.
"Eventually I realized this guilt was unproductive. I'm the one who will have to deal with the 'introvert hangover' if I stay longer, not them. Now, I proudly declare I'm tired and head for the door," she writes. Perhaps you should follow her lead in 2017.
3. Say no to more empty social engagements.
How often do you say yes to an invite you know will drain you out of a sense of obligation or politeness? For many introverts the answer is 'a lot.' Grannemann suggests you make 2017 the year when that answer become 'a lot less frequently than I used to.'
"Deep down, we know the Mary Kay party or the after-work happy hour won't be fulfilling," she says, so why not work up the courage to say no and spare yourself the exhaustion and burnout this year?
4. Quit beating up yourself up over past awkwardness.
"Introverts have a tendency to ruminate. Our overthinking may take the form of playing events over and over and over in our minds," explains Grannemann, who adds: "Sadly, rumination can give way to anxiety and depression--and it rarely helps you solve the problem you're chewing on."
How do you stop? Rather than trying to break the habit cold, she suggests developing a go-to strategy for interrupting your negative thoughts, like putting on happy music or recalling a positive memory.
5. Actively schedule alone time.
This is a good idea for pretty much everyone, according to science, but it's especially important for introverts. So stop feeling weird about actively blocking off alone time to think and recharge. Making this a priority will help both your sanity and your productivity.
Introverts out there, what are your New Year's resolutions this year?