Why are so many New Year’s resolutions short-lived?
Why do so many begin the new year motivated to make changes, only to end up feeling like a failure when they have a relapse?
There are a couple of reasons that stand out as to why my resolutions didn’t work in past years: 1) I’d made them on a whim, or a dare. 2) I’d set unrealistic goals for myself.
Change (as I now understand it) doesn’t come from putting unwarranted pressure on ourselves; it comes from a mindset of re-wiring the brain to achieve a different outcome, and it's meant to be a gradual process. But most of us humans want a "quick-fix." And so, when change doesn't come fast enough, we end up relapsing and see ourselves as failures. On the other hand, if we begin to look at our failures as part of the "change process," it not only helps us to stay motivated but to stay on course and let change do its thing in us. And besides, it's not how many times we fall that creates our legacy. It’s in how we get back up, dust ourselves off, and keep on evolving as individuals.
I read somewhere that we can’t unlive what we have lived, and it’s true, isn't it? However, we can look to the New Year as a reminder to "wipe the slate clean," reset our goals and be inspired by a brand-new year ahead of us.
Whatever you're planning to achieve for the coming year, be realistic. Take baby steps. And remember: if you relapse, don’t give up. Instead, celebrate your progress. Reflect on how far you have come, not how far you have to go. Each step you take is a victory! So just keep believing in yourself and stay open to hope.
Happy New Year! Have a blessed 2018.