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It’s that time of year again where we reflect on the year that has passed and tell ourselves it hasn’t quite panned out how we had hoped at the beginning of the year.
Time after time we make our resolutions and after a month of not sticking to them, give up and revert to old habits.
In the blink of an eye a year has gone and you’re doing the exact same thing, making resolutions for the coming year, I hate to say it but it’s a perpetual circle of failure that is only serving to make us miserable and possibly ungrateful for what we already have.
So what’s the point of a New Year’s resolution?
Simply it’s a promise to be a better version of ourselves than in the year that is coming to a close.
The problem here lies in the fact though we’ve made these promises to ourselves, we aren’t really doing anything to ensure that we are held accountable.
If you make a promise to someone else, depending on your character, you are going to do your utmost to try and keep that promise.
You don’t want to let that person down or you don’t want them to think less of you for breaking your promise.
What are some common New Year’s resolutions?
When thinking of resolutions we default to those common resolutions that we weren’t able to keep this year.
- Eat healthier
- Exercise more
- Find a new job
- Stop smoking/drinking
- Lose weight
- Save more money
What are the common tips for keeping New Year’s Resolutions?
There are hundreds if not thousands of websites on the internet that provide good tips on how to ensure that you are able to keep your new Year’s resolution.
In a nutshell they are:
- Be realistic
- Be specific
- Set a timeframe
- Break it down
- Take ownership of it
What these tips neglect to emphasise is the importance of being kind to yourself, should things not go to plan.
I’m a gold medalist at self sabotage and will probably spend large portions of the day telling myself why I can’t to something and listing reasons why I don’t deserve another thing and therein lies the problem.
If I was to speak to anyone else the way that I spoke to myself I can guarantee that person would never speak to me again and I wouldn’t blame them either.
All the tips in the world won’t make a jot of difference if your inner voice is working against what it is that you are trying to achieve.
Understanding your inner voice
I’m interested in how the mind works and some years ago purchased The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters and will definitely be revisiting it.
Whilst it might not say anything different from the many other psychological self help books out there, the way that points are written and explained certainly resonate with me.
Things to take away from the book include:
- Control of your impulsive self
- Learn to recognise when your emotions are taking over rational thought
- How to overcome procrastination
I honestly believe that if we are a lot kinder to ourselves there is no reason that we can’t achieve almost anything that we set our minds to.
How else can you ensure that you stick to our resolutions?
Concentrate on one
It can be easy to come up with 101 resolutions in the hope that you will be able to achieve one. Stick to one and make sure that you put your all into it.
Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none when it comes to setting yourself a resolution to stick to.
Start by stop referring to it as a resolution and call it what it really should be, a GOAL.
I think that we lose an element of ownership in calling it a resolution as everyone expects that by the end of january we have probably not been able to stick to it.
A goal is something that we should be able to take ownership of and adopting the tips for resolutions will probably be a lot more inclined to give them a little more time to succeed.
You fall of the wagon with a resolution you probably aren’t going to continue and dismiss it as another New Year’s Resolution failure. A goal on the other hand gives us direction.
Make it habit forming
If we can dedicate just half an hour to of our time to our goal it can become habit forming and as such become part of our everyday lives.
Depending on what it is that you want to achieve, it can take roughly 21 days to form a habit. I have downloaded two apps on my phone and both work equally as good as the other. There is Habit Bull and Productive (ios)
Be more grateful
It might not seem obvious but being in the now and being grateful for what we have can go some way in helping us move on with what we want to achieve moving forward.
We spend a lot of time being so preoccupied with what we want but it is easy to forget what we already have.