It happens every December. You’ve got your New Year resolutions figured out, your ten year life plan all set and you just need the 1st of January to roll around to start practicing those yoga lessons you signed up for. Unfortunately, all the bubbling enthusiasm starts to flag a little by the end of February. Before you know it, it’s the end of December and you’re making another resolutions list. The reason why New Year resolutions have the lifespan of a housefly is usually because we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. This just sets us up for failure. By keeping the following in mind, you can beat the self-fulfilling prophecy of failed resolutions.
1. Examine your motivation
One reason why resolutions fail is because of unclear motivation. Do you really want to learn to swim or are you just doing it because your best friend took a class? You’ve decided to visit Thailand like your sister but hate travel. These types of resolutions are bound to fail as you simply don’t have the interest to complete them. It’s time to examine your life and decide what you really want from it.
2. Create goals not rules
Resolutions can become self-imposed rules: Lose 20 pounds, stop buying clothes, do this, don’t do that. Nothing creates more guilt than when we break one of them. But you can’t switch cravings and desires off like a light bulb. Instead of expecting yourself to lose ten kg by the end of the week, you can create the higher goal of living healthier. Walk to the corner store instead of driving and eat your fill at meals instead of snacking between them. A lifestyle change is much more effective at creating a long term result than short term restrictions that eat away your will power.
3.Break Down the Year
In January you have a false sense of security. So what if you didn’t start yoga this week? You’ll start next week. You barely remember what you resolved in June and by December you’re just waiting for January. Honestly, 365 days is a lot of time to do a lot of stuff. Instead of thinking about it like a single chunk of time, you can break it down into smaller pieces. The first three months can be dedicated to creating a smart budget. Once budgeting becomes a habit, you can start giving your fitness regime priority. Sure, you can do these things together. However, when you introduce a change in your life, especially a restrictive change, it creates a certain stress. The more stress you add, the less likely you’ll continue what’s creating it in the first place. By the end of the year, you’ll have at least three to four completed goals instead of ten half done.
4. Don’t be afraid to change your mind
Sometimes, things don’t work out the way we want. Stuff that inspired us in the beginning doesn’t excite us anymore. Instead of killing yourself doing something you dislike, it’s okay to step away. Seriously consider what you started and why you started in the first place. If you can’t find any good answers, then don’t waste your time anymore.