You might have set some resolutions for the New Year, at least once. It is some sort of cultural habit in modern times. But sometimes those resolutions fail. Studies have showed that Generation X (aged 35-54) find it more difficult to achieve their New Years’ Resolution than any other age group. And they are more likely to have broken their goals within the first three months than other age groups. Why? And how to avoid this trap of setting resolutions and staying there?
A resolution is, according to the dictionary, a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad. You make it on the first day of the year, as you hope that a special night would help a promise to become reality. People want to lose weight, to exercise more, to gain more money or to spend less, and many others. Resolutions are mainly related to health, money, love and relationships, self-improvement.
Why do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
Here are some reasons:
You have set resolutions when you were very (if not extremely) enthusiastic.
After two days off and a lot of celebration, life seems easier and miracles become somehow easier to get caught. You feel relaxed and powerful. Your mood being so good, you think you can do anything. (And the fact is, you could have done anything at that moment. But this is another story.) However, this is not your real habitual state, don’t foolish yourself. Therefore, the resolutions are not well set.
Don’t set your resolutions when you are in a bad mood, either. You tend to have lower expectations on you and on your life, or even to set the wrong ones, based on those bad feelings. When your expectations are low, your goals are quite easy to achieve, as they are too modest. One could decide to quit a job just because of an unimportant thing, and then stick to this bad decision because he was angry that day. Remember that decisions taken in a moment of angry or despair are surely not good. For you and for others. It’s the same with resolutions. And theu will fail more easily.
Solution: be sure you’re in a proper mood when setting your goals. Don’t let yourself influenced by some external factors.
You are too ambitious.
Goals that are way too high are not good, either. Like: Starting from tomorrow, I will eat healthy…. (difficult to do it when you normally don’t eat properly) I want to lose 30 pounds… or I will be rich this year… I want to marry my soul-mate (and you even don’t know the person). The difference between the place you are now and the place you want to be is too big. Your mind will be so scared, if it’s not trained. The result? It will block you and you will soon find yourself stuck. And your resolutions will fail, of course.
Solution: Find that balance. Wish you to ‘meet and fall in love’ with your soul-mate, the marriage will surely come after. Decide you will lose 10 percent of your weight or that you will change one unhealthy eating habit at once. You’re not a wizard. Not yet.
Your resolutions have no details.
A simple sentence is not enough. Your resolutions shouldn’t be too abstract, too vague. There are a lot of things to consider before writing your goals. A skill and an art – this is for another article.
You don’t write down your resolutions.
You have told your friends at the New Year’s Eve party that you do have some resolutions, and they told you theirs. Everybody went home and that was all. After a few days, some of you remember only the Big Wish they had and not the others’ ones. (Or everybody remembers that strange resolution somebody has set – only because it sounded so curious.) But nothing about the other resolutions. It happened, didn’t it?
The real life continues after celebration and you are in the middle of daily usual vortex of events and people and things to be done. You forget about your resolutions and about your very best intentions for this year. (We might remember them after 2-3 months, when we see that time has gone by. And we have to admit we did nothing for those resolutions not to fail.)
On the other hand, only writing them is not enough. Later on, you find that paper. Not a pleasant experience, for many, as they are forced to admit a failure. There are people who really look at that paper with proud and satisfaction. I’ve done so much for my goals! I’m definitely on my way to accomplish them! Good for them! Good for you! When it’s not your case, it seems obvious that something is missing here.
You have no plan.
Let’s pretend you had one wish (and goal) for this year. When this one will be accomplished, you will be happy. Or complete. Or back to normal – I don’t know, only you can tell it. It’s clearly the big one. And now what?
Exactly. You know what you want, you strongly desire it, and ….? Are you waiting for it to happen just like that? Think. Or think again. Until you will see you need a plan and some action. Things don’t happen because we want to. Remember ‘If wishes were fishes…’