“New Year, New Me”: Resolutions BS
New year, new me. Every year its the same vicious cycle with resolutions. You start the year pumped, doe-eyed and bushy tailed to make this year different. Then, you stumble a few times with your resolutions. You make yourself feel a little better by forgiving the stumble. “I’ll start again tomorrow better, I just needed a grace period”.
And eventually, you reach an impasse of restarting and failing time and time again. So, by the end of January, you’ve given up on your resolutions. Sounds familiar? You are not alone. We all do the same.
So, why aren’t we effectual people with our resolutions? Why can’t I ever get that bikini body by summer? Why can’t I go on that whirlwind trip to Spain to meet the hunky love of my life? Why do my resolutions always fall through?
We do the same thing every year. The adage “new year, new me” should be changed to “new year, new me, same resolutions BS”.
So, here are a few ‘real talk’ reasons why over a third of our resolutions don’t make it past January and why almost all never see fruition.
How many times have we all heard the classic motivational speaker “Failing to plan is planning to fail” quote? It does get really old. But, as annoying as it seems there’s a lot of truth to it.
We always set new years goals without having a plan to set in motion towards the goal. But, how can you sail a boat to the Carribean if you don’t know the way right? Every goal should come with a game plan.
People say “Go with the flow. Sit back”. However, maybe it’s not a good idea to just let nature take its course with resolutions. No plan, no achieving resolutions. And, we end up staying in the vicious cycle.
Make it simple. First, break down your resolutions into smaller goals. Then, break the goals into smaller weekly or monthly tasks to feel like you’re making progress slowly. Mark your calendar with goals and benchmarks. Lastly, have a list of how-tos and what-to-dos. Don’t wing it!
Science is to blame
We’re all human. And, unfortunately, humans are all victims of behavioral disabilities. The one that prevents fruition of resolutions is ‘the science of habit’.
Resolutions are a goal to change an existing habit. For example, you want to get fit. So, you make a goal to start going to the gym and eating healthier. But, this is especially hard because you’re a professional couch potato that eats to the heart’s content. This your pre-conditioned habit.
Breaking a habit is hard because we’re so used to it. As people, we’re conditioned to not like change. So, don’t shock yourself. Let the resolution warm up to you. Run a trial phase.
Breaking a habit is not impossible though. First, make the goal easy to achieve. Have smaller specific goals. That’s a great start. Instead of deciding to do 45 dreaded minutes of exercise come New Year’s day, try a manageable 15 minutes first.
Resolutions are never SMART
The recipe to an achievable goal is for it to be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. We all know most resolutions aren’t specific or realistic.
Let’s be real. Having a goal to lose 40 kilos in 3 months is setting yourself up for failure. We know that. And, I know the age-old adage is to “Think BIG”. But with goals, big is why we never achieve them. Keep them small to keep them attainable.
After all, it’s really hard staying motivated to achieve something that seems too big a feat.
Motivation and commitment fades
Resolutions are like a needy lover. They need the right TLC to see the light of success. However, we’re all guilty of neglecting our resolutions and not giving them the commitment they deserve. It’s no wonder most of us end up divorced from our resolutions by June.
Commit and invest time in your resolution. Set a goal and take action. See it through to the end. Most of us lack the motivation to keep towards our goals.
Hiccups are part of the process. Get up after the fall. Don’t be so easily discouraged and you’ll likely to see plans through. It takes most of us a while to realize this.
We’re only human. We’re bound to have off days where we feel there’s no point. But, if you stumble, don’t beat yourself up. Stay on track and remember that you’re still going.
You do it alone
It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re doing it lone ranger. Let’s be honest. Staying motivated is hard. It’s really easy to just scratch a resolution when you don’t have an influencer to keep you on your toes.
Having a friend with the same resolution would help you more likely realize the goal. They’ll give you that constant support, motivation, and affirmation to reach your goal. They’ll keep you motivated and pick you up if you fall off the wagon.
Instead of waiting another whole year just to decide to do something or quit a bad habit, just do it now. It doesn’t have to be the new year to change. Change can come anytime.