We do it every New Year. Make those ‘unbreakable’ resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, work harder, change this, that, and the other. Then we feel like abject failures when we give up all too soon. It’s time to ditch New Year Resolutions, and adopt a new strategy to go with the flow.
Top Five New Year’s Resolutions
1. Lose weight
2. Get organized
3. Save more, spend less
4. Get fit and stay fit.
5. Restrict social media time.
Five Reasons Why People Ditch New Year Resolutions
Most people announce their New Year’s resolutions and expect them to happen without much practical input. To make a change in behavior means making a significant life change, therefore it needs careful planning. You need strategies in place to deal with temporary failure, and to fall back on when moral is low. Resolutions also require time; there aren’t many that don’t need a commitment of time and money in order to attain them.
Too Much, Too Soon
Resolutions are often unrealistic goals. Also known as ‘biting off more than you can chew’. Breaking goals down into smaller, achievable stages is far more effective.
Falling at the First Fence
Giving up at the first failure is the main reason why people ditch New Year resolutions. They see themselves as weak and spineless. They laugh it off, saying they’ll do better next year while feeling yukky on the inside.
Lack of Self Belief
You’ve never managed to keep a New Year’s resolution before, so you think you’ll never be able to keep one. You carry on making them regardless, each time adding another layer of guilt and self-recrimination.
You’re on Your Own
Lack of support is a reason why many give up on their resolutions. Find a group with aims that mesh with your own and you might stand a chance. Having your own bunch of cheerleaders can go a long way toward helping you reach your goals.
Five Good Reasons Not to Make New Year’s Resolutions
- You are too busy. You really are. If you can’t jettison a few commitments in order to make time for your resolution, then don’t make it.
- It’s not a priority. Out of all your responsibilities, your New Year’s resolution figures pretty low down the list, doesn’t it? Therefore, you won’t give it your undivided attention for any length of time.
- Resolutions are boring. They feel puritanical, restrictive, unlikeable.
- You’re setting yourself up to fail. Can you remember the last time you stuck to one? If you achieved what you set out to do, then congratulations; you might be able to do it again. The rest of us? We carry our failures like burdens. We’re hopeless human beings. Not only that, there’s all that leftover holiday chocolate…
- It’s the wrong time of the year. Unless you live in the southern hemisphere, the beginning of January is completely the wrong time to make any kind of commitment. You’re supposed to go out running, when the rain is pelting down or a snowstorm is imminent? Forget it. The weather has a huge bearing on mood, so think about resetting your goal in the spring, when optimism is high.
Five Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions
Make it very, very small. Teeny. You can achieve it in just one day. You might even be able to make it again the next day, or one day next week. Congratulate yourself for your persistence and tenacity.
Sit back and laugh at your friends as, one-by-one, they give up their resolutions. For those who don’t – they deserve your encouragement one hundred percent. Remember that telling them they are going to fail at any moment can have the opposite effect.
Set a new date for resolutions. When is realistic for you? March 1st? Your birthday? The first day of summer?
Make an anti-resolution. Aim to eat more, do less and generally relax. Your friends and family will be so envious.
Make your resolution about someone else. A commitment to help, for example, an elderly person maintain their home is harder to break than one you make to yourself. Besides, mowing their lawn will get you fit.
Ditch New Year Resolutions Completely
Don’t give them another thought. No resolution should be your resolution. Instead make up your mind to go with the flow, embrace all that life serves up to you. You don’t need any more rules and regulations to help you live your life.
Change your perspective. Food is not your enemy, it is your fuel, your body’s energy source. Treat it with respect. Moving your body is joyful: stretch it, bend it, twist it a little bit. Changing your perspective; the way you think about something can cause massive improvements with little or no effort.
Gratitude is the greatest prayer. Thank you is the greatest mantra. — Swami Northland
All you need is gratitude. Become a gratitude junkie. Be thankful for everything. Everything – even the negative stuff. Accept life easily and thank the universe for its abundance and beneficence. This is probably the most life-changing practice you can embrace, and how difficult is it? Not difficult at all.
Make gratitude and appreciation your default resolution. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, dismissing someone, judging someone, gossiping about them, worrying about money, nagging your partner, yelling at your kids, moaning about your parents, your boss, your coworkers… immediately turn to gratitude. This is the best gift you can ever give yourself. It will knock those boring New Year resolutions into a cocked hat.
Embrace the Flow
Life is beautiful when you let it do its own thing. Loosen up your grip. Embrace the ebb and flow. Stand back a little – you’ll be amazed how you don’t always have to wrestle those problems to the ground and beat them into submission. Things always work out for you. Say it, “Things always work out for me. The universe has my back.”
Images courtesy of Pixabay