New Year, New Me! This is a phrase I’ve been seeing a lot lately. There’s something about the new year that makes us all want to be better people. Some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions are to get in shape or lose weight. These resolutions, along with the majority of others, fail by February. Various studies have shown that greater than 90% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the end of the year.
New Year’s Resolutions simply don’t work. After all, it wouldn’t be a “new resolution” if it weren’t something you failed to do the previous year. One of the biggest reasons that our resolutions fail is because we have become short term thinkers. We, as a people, are far more focused on instant gratification than long term goals. That’s one of the reasons ice cream is more enjoyable than exercise; short term gratification beats long term gain (not to mention it’s just yummy).
Long term goals are more easily achieved by setting short term goals. For example, if your long term goal is to eat healthier, your short term goals could include eating more vegetables, eating fast food less frequently, drinking more water, etc. These changes don’t have to be done simultaneously! Maybe the first month you commit to drinking more water. Then the second month you add the commitment of eating more veggies. The third month you can add only eating out a couple times a month. These smaller goals help you to gradually change your eating habits so you’re far more likely to succeed than if you try to change all of those things at once! Satisfying your short term goals will give you the feeling of gratification and accomplishment that you need to continue progressing toward your long term goal!
If you’re serious about achieving your resolutions, they need to be specific. If you want to lose weight then set a number of pounds you want to lose by a certain date. Having a plan and a support system to hold you accountable will help you achieve your goal.
Let’s get real for a minute, though. Personally, I think New Year’s Resolutions are pointless. I don’t participate in them. I know myself well enough to know that if I’m going to do something or change something about myself, it has to come from a place of truly wanting to change. If I’m just doing it because “New Year, New Me” then it’s not going to happen. There’s no motivation in that for me. I feel like it’s the same way with others too. If you don’t truly want to change, then simply making a New Year’s Resolution isn’t going to do anything for you.
With that said, this year I challenge you to become a better version of yourself, not because it’s a new year, but because it’s what you want. If you don’t want to better yourself in any way, then hats off to you, I wish I could reach that level of perfection. However, if there’s something you want to change then I urge you to do it! It can be as simple as learning to ride a bike (I know several adults who don’t know how to ride bikes!), or it can be as difficult as changing your lifestyle; the things you eat, exercising, quitting smoking, etc. If it’s important to you, then you’re going to be more motivated and therefore more likely to succeed!
Let’s make the best of this new year!