After the NYE hype is over comes the New Year’s resolution. Of course a New Year should be welcomed by turning over a new leaf or so some of us tell ourselves. It’s not our fault, the Babylonians started the tradition over 4000 years ago, later the Romans and Christians continued to pass the baton and so here we are promising ourselves to lose those extra pounds, eat healthy and even save more money. Though these are all commendable goals, I find myself asking of whatever resolutions pledged at the beginning of the year, if they serve such a vital role in improving my life, why aren’t they already being practiced?
The answer lies in the fact that most of us break our New Year’s resolution and continue to live fulfilling lives (hopefully?). So these resolutions aren’t crucial to enhancing the state of our existence, yet that doesn’t stop us from setting them, knowing the high probability of failure. The causes of our failure to follow through on promises include not creating a plan, setting impossible goals and getting gratification from telling your friends and families your plan before you accomplish them. All these definitely apply to me.
However, the main sabotage of my New Year’s resolution success often occurs before the beginning of the year. The stretch of time after the goal has been determined and before the New Year starts is my Achilles heel. For example, last year I felt compelled to gobble every desert that came my way before January 1st 2016 because starting then my sugar reduction plan would kick in. As a result, I consumed so many holiday cookies, only intensifying my sugar dependency; okay I confess I became a sugar fiend. When 2016 started, a habit that would have otherwise been easier to kick had turned into an addiction because I already rewarded myself for an act to which I didn’t commit.
For me the procrastination between when I think of the resolution and when the New Year begins generally leads to solidification of a bad habit to the point that an easy New Year goal all of sudden becomes impossible. And as I have previously stated, setting impossible goals is one of the major causes why we break our resolutions. Since resolving to do something, then waiting to start it at the beginning of the year has led me through the failure loop of turning casual deviation to addiction, I chose not to set myself up for failure again this year because that is the exact definition of insanity. I don’t want to be insane so this year, instead of declaring a platitude goal of turning over a new leaf, I’m sticking to the same leaf. As an alternative to picking a New Year resolution, I’m highlighting habits of 2016 that led to positive outcomes and sticking to them or expanding on them. Take that procrastination doom loop!
If you just can’t fight the urge to set a New Year resolution despite past failure, a great strategy to maintaining your New Year’s resolutions is determining what caused you to falter in the past and developing a mechanism for dealing with the barrier just like I have. An even better strategy is to forgo a New Year’s resolution and continue being the fabulous you from the previous year. If you feel your fabulousness needs more glitter just focus on daily goals instead of yearly goals, that way if you miss a day you can always start the next day versus waiting until the year to start over.