I don’t believe in new year resolutions. They don’t work. They are littered with words like “I should….”, “I must….” which only sets you up for failure. Resolutions often cover a range of things that we feel guilty about not having done and guilt is an unconstructive emotion.
The new year is a time of hope and fresh beginnings hence the resolutions, however, nothing driven by a date alone is going to last because the date passes, the year gets older and we get tired, complacent, distracted and there goes the resolutions.
If you are serious about your resolutions, then set a goal. Settings goals can be a completely different story with the right motivation and drive. If you are still in “new year resolution mode”, then take your resolution apart and find out why you chose that resolution. Connect with the real reason behind the resolution and reframe the resolution if necessary. Here are some suggestions for making the most of your new year resolutions.
Tips for making your new year resolutions work:
- Be clear about the motivation behind your resolution. Make sure your resolution is not driven by guilt. If it is, then work out another way to deal with your guilt. Resolutions alone aren’t going to cut it.
- Use clear and positive language in framing your resolution. Avoid guilt-inducing words like “should” and “must” and vague language such as “I will be healthier this year” which is subject to interpretation.
- Break your resolution up into smaller goals and targets if necessary. If being healthier is your ultimate goal, then your resolution would include smaller goals like exercise and diet. Understand your limitations and set yourself up for success. A big goal like “I will cut out junk food completely” probably isn’t going to work. Something like “I will reduce opportunities to eat junk food by not buying junk food” may work better.
- Set a deadline. Goals without deadlines are not goals, they are suggestions, so make sure any goal you have is accompanied by a realistic deadline. Again, chunk up your goals if necessary so that there are shorter deadlines and opportunities for you check in on your results.
- If you fall off the wagon, pick yourself up and start again. Even if you break your resolution, there is no excuse to wait until the next year! Success is not determined by how often you fail but by how often you pick yourself up.
Do you have a good track record for making resolutions stick? I would love to hear from you. Otherwise, try the tips and good luck with your 2011 resolutions!
- Why I Hate New Year’s Resolutions (smartzonepsychology.blogspot.com)
- Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail | Psychology Today (psychologytoday.com)
- Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Are Doomed to Fail [Resolutions 2011] (lifehacker.com)