How to make a New Year resolution that sticks
It’s the 8th today. That’s 8 days into 2018. 8 days that has either been spent recovering from hangovers, holiday madness, clearance sales and dubious amounts of left overs.
8 days ago, there is a high chance that you’ve also made grand promises to yourself and others – promises of living a better life, a change, a resolution of some sort all because it’s a new year.
New year, new beginnings, right?
And that’s how we set ourselves up for failure.
You don’t need a new year to make change happen.
We often attach desires of grand change to event such as birthdays, beginning of months and in this case — the beginning of a new year. We start the resolution with a burst of energy that quickly fizzles out and we quickly return to the same old routines as the holiday seasons end. We go back to our original lives as the resolutions for no bullsh*t, beach bodies, healthier eating and all those memes that makes an appearance at this time of the year disappear into the abyss of social media timelines.
Nothing changes, of course, until the next year rolls by.
Your resolutions take too long and are too big.
365 days to complete a task is a long time. That gives us 365 possible days to side track, to forget and to perpetually ‘cheat’. Not only that, your resolutions may be so big that you don’t actually realize the mental and physical efforts involved to achieve your goals until your start. It quickly drains your motivation and you give up because old habits are a lot easier to maintain.
Not only that, you don’t give yourself room to make mistakes or how to get back on track if you fall off the bandwagon. Either that, or you wait until next month, or the month after, or the month after that. By the time you’ve reached the end of March, you’ve most likely given up and casually forget about your grand plans and self promises.
Change your mindset. Shorten your time frame.
Before making your resolutions (or if you’ve already got some), determine what it is you really want to achieve.
Want that beach body? That’s a lifestyle change.
Want to learn how to code? That involves constant learning.
Want to read more? That involves making time.
A resolution is a goal. It is also something that takes away from your current life set up. We all have equal amounts of 24 hours in our days and somehow, for the past how many years, we’ve managed to fill it up with something. Whether it may be work, commute, Netflix, school, Facebook, Twitter or sleep, there is always an activity attached to each second that drips away.
When you make a resolution, you are setting yourself up for change. This means that something in your current routine will have to go. You can’t spend the same amount of hours watching Netflix and hope that your gym body will magically appear. You’re not going to be able to read a book a week if you’re endlessly scrolling through Facebook.
At first, you will fail and you will fail miserably. You tell yourself that you’ll start again, only to be reminded by how the year has barely started and you’ve failed already.
You try again. You fail again. After so many rounds of defeat and failures, you give up.
Rather than giving yourself the whole year to constantly fail at your resolution, give yourself a week. Failing to pursue to resolution once a week is not as bad as failing over a hundred times in a year. Mentally, it sounds and feels better. Not only that, each week you get to begin anew.
By making weekly resolutions instead of yearly ones, you get to quickly gauge its feasibility and adapt it for the next week. Rather than waiting a year, or even a month to accept or realize that your goals are too far-fetched for your current situation and only exists in your dreams, weekly resolutions helps us keep focused and cuts down the size of what you want to achieve, with the sum of each week culminating ultimately to your year’s goal.
Life is full of twists and turns and year long resolutions often don’t last because they are too rigid .A resolution is an imagined pathway to what you want to achieve. The quicker you can recognize its feasibility or impending disaster due to making the task too big, the quickly you can pivot your goals towards something that is more sustainable and realistic.