Year after year, people make resolutions. Time and time again, months into the new year, memes start rolling in about how that all flew out the window. But why does this happen? Why do resolutions consistently fail?
They fail for a few reasons:
- the resolution is based off what others think you should be achieving
- it was made for the sole purpose of feeling like you had to make one
- it was rushed and not planned out
- it's not an achievable goal
People make resolutions because they feel it's what they're supposed to do when a new year rolls in. They rush to make one without ever truly planning it through. Setting goals isn't something you can simply do. They need to be thought out and well planned.
They also make their goals non-achievable because they make them for the year. When goal-setting, it's best to make goals within an achievable timeframe and then start small. If you want to lose weight, it's best to narrow it down. Start with a month. How much do you want to lose in a month? Then you need to figure out how you'll achieve this. How many times a week can you realistically exercise? How many sweets or junk food will you be allotted a week? What foods will you eat and what foods will you cut back on? Keeping track of your progress in picture form and by journaling will keep you motivated as you can visibly see the differences. Take things slow and be smart about your goals.
And sometimes we'll fail and thats okay too. We'll slip up because we're human and it happens. However, it's important to focus on the good that we've done rather than the bad. Berating oneself for slipping up isn't helpful. Talk about what you've achieved so far and then get back on track the next day. If slip ups keep happening, you need to figure out why. What is the root cause for this bad habit I keep continuing? Once you figure that out, you can substitute a good habit for the bad one.
Always carry a book in your bag.
This is a life changer, I swear. Dave and I went to the movies to see the new Star Wars recently. We were there a little over 15 minutes early. Instead of watching the silly previews before the real previews, I took my book out. Dave didn't even hesitate, he chuckled automatically when I pulled it out. But this is a great way to remember to read if that's one of your goals for the year. Put Facebook away and start filling your time more wisely.
Send people flowers.
Have a friend that graduated college or aced a test? Have a family member that received a promotion? Send flowers. Or a card. Or candy. Or something. Remind people you love them and are proud to see them accomplish their goals. Heck, send yourself flowers if you achieved one of your new year's resolutions. Show people you care.
Make time to be creative.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow – whether there is a market for it or not! The kick of creation is the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward. I would tell all of you watching this screen: Before you go to bed, write a four line poem. Make it as good as you can. Don’t show it to anybody. Put it where nobody will find it. And you will discover that you have your reward.”
Make friends with your fears.
Stop running from the things that scare you. Instead, embrace them with open arms. Step into the unknown and you'll find your fears weren't as scary as they appeared. Even if something winds up not in your favor? You'll learn something and chances are, a new door will open up for you. Embrace those fears this year.
Prioritize your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Put yourself first. Start your mornings out by giving a little time to yourself. Meditate, say affirmations to yourself in the mirror, write in a journal, exercise. Do the things that make you happy when you find yourself losing focus or becoming increasingly agitated. Take deep breaths and find time for yourself.
Live simply and minimally.
Be thankful for what you already have. Smile as much as you can. Compliment others. Don't find your happiness in objects but rather in experience and people. Go slowly and take everything in.
Don't do things that make you feel bad.
Let go of those bad habits that make you feel ashamed. Lying, being thoughtless, biting your nails, not keeping your house clean, drinking too much wine. Set a goal and break it down into how you'll be able to accomplish it. For me, I pick my nails and I'd love to stop. Goal setting would be to find something to fidget with (like my pop socket on my phone) when I get the urge to pick, stay aware of when I want to pick, put some vitamin E oil around my skin, or get my nails done to stop me from picking. Measuring progress is also helpful. So taking photos of my fingers from before, to after a week of not picking, to two weeks, and so on.
This is key. Don't make resolutions you know you aren't going to follow. Make this year the year you do the things you're going to say and accomplish your goals.
Be good, do good, and become better.
Tell the truth. Be honest no matter how much it sucks or if it makes you feel ashamed. Own the things you do. Be kind to others. Treat them well and fairly. Compliment them. Compliment yourself. Help others. Understand what others may be going through. Let go of your anger. Learn patience. If you do anything this year, become a better you. Even if it's by changing a couple personality traits.
What goals are you making for 2018?