Everyone asks me in the first few days of the New Year what my New Year’s resolutions are. My answer is steadfast and has remained the same for many years... nothing!
Why? I feel we set ourselves up to fail when we set resolutions. The truth is when we want to change something in our lives—whether it is required, or it is voluntary—we will only be able to do this when we are ready and committed, but not necessarily because the calendar tells us so.
When you set the bar too high, expectations accompany that.
I truly believe the expectations others set for us is already a burden so why would we want to add to our load? Expectations are the killer of most relationships, as most of us do not take the time or even dare to tell the other person what we expect.
Having said that, you can understand that a resolution is only good when you are ready, willing, and if it is truly attainable in the time allotted.
I am not against New Year’s resolutions. Just make sure you do not set yourself up to fail. Rather, take it down a notch or two so that it is something that you know you can do. Then your resolution will work as a positive for you and your lifestyle.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, quit smoking, or be more focused and organized, make sure that you are specific in your resolution and when you want to obtain it.
My suggestion is to work in phases that you yourself can be proud of. If you work in phases, then your goals will be easier to attain. You will see the progress at each stage, instead of hoping and wishing the resolutions take place instantly.
Remember, we are creatures of habit, and bad habits might seem hard to break.
They say it takes 21 days to break old habits and learn new ones. I believe this timeframe is a bit shorter, especially if we don’t dwell on a few mishaps along the way. Just jump back on the bandwagon and try again.
A tip for making your resolution stick: I suggest phases. You can say to yourself: I can do this for 3 days and when I succeed I will do phase 2 for the next 3 days. This way you have a method to always restart and begin anew.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself! Failure is not a crime. It gives you the opportunity to observe if the bar was set too high. Re-adjust and be kind to yourself during each phase.