As the old year comes to an end and the new year approaches, many take the time to reflect on their lives. Some identify achievements that they have made and continue to set future goals. Others identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change during the upcoming year and make resolutions. To both groups, the new year signifies a new beginning; a time to learn from the past and commit to changing the future. Do we need resolutions to make life changes? No, we don’t and here are 5 reasons why you don’t need to make New Year’s resolutions.
5. New Year’s resolutions are typically too overwhelming! Many people make resolutions that involve major life changes that need to be accomplished by the end of the year. Then, when faced with the large task, the commitment waivers in the face of stress, anxiety and frustration. So, remember, in order to create lasting change, it is important to set challenging, yet realistic goals that you can incorporate into your daily life without feeling like you’re being deprived or overwhelmed.
4. Resolutions resemble cookies….What? Okay, let me explain. You are at a party and you see your favorite oatmeal raisin cookie. You say to yourself, “no, I am going to be ‘good’ and not have any cookies tonight.” A little while later, when the cookie is eying you from the opposite side of the room, you say, “Okay, well I will just have one cookie. That is it.” You do well with that one cookie but somehow as the night is progressing, you are physically and emotionally DRAWN to another oatmeal raisin cookie! At that moment, all caution is thrown to the wind and you gobble six cookies! You tell yourself you fell off the wagon; you might as well “go all out” tonight and eat as many oatmeal raisin cookies as you can consume. Most of us have been here a time or two. One slip up and we abandon all previously stated goals, desires and hopes. Resolutions tend to put us in this all or nothing mind set and along the way we forget that set backs are normal and natural but somehow, instead, they tend to leave us feeling discouraged, dissatisfied and hopeless and we resort back to our pre-resolution behaviors just like that. It is always a good idea to allow for, even expect setbacks at times but be mindful not to allow yourself to feel completely defeated or overcome by such setbacks.
3. Resolutions can leave you feeling unsuccessful and hopeless. About 80-90% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Those are not great statistics for self-accomplishment. Focus your energy and mind on something that has a higher success rate and as you accomplish each task, watch as your sense of accomplishment soars!
2. We often set resolutions that are too broad. Let’s take some of the most common New Year’s resolutions as an example. “Lose weight” and “eat healthier” are among the most common resolutions set each year by millions of people. Maybe you have even set these once or twice! The problem arises because these, although great goals, are extremely broad. Let’s take “eat healthier”; what does that exactly mean? Eat more fruit and veggies? Eat fewer sweets? Cut calories? All of the above? The most effective way to set goal and maintain steps toward reaching those goals is the identify very achievable, realistic and specific steps to accomplishing whatever it is you desire to change in your life!
1. Each day is a new beginning that offers you the opportunity to reflect on the decisions that were made the previous day. Each day you awake, is a day to be thankful and set daily, realistic goals. As you decide to focus on making each choice more positive or healthy, you’ll realize that over time, your life and habits will change without the pressure of a daunting resolution.
We challenge you NOT to make any New Year’s resolutions and have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Dr. Monique and Dr. Marisa