The holidays have flown by and now we are confronted with an obvious question ... do I start a New Year's resolution, or not?
Are you Team New Year's Resolution?
Personally, I am Team No New Year's Resolution and let me tell you why. My personality attributes include words such as perfectionist, competitive, and overachiever. Even worse, if I did not hit the achievements I designed up for myself, the resolution ended in negative self-talk. For years, I would generate new resolutions and ended up prioritizing the resolution over family and friends. Surprisingly enough, when the achievement had been met, it left me feeling empty and alone because there was no one to celebrate with after it was completed.
So what if you are Team New Year's Resolution? No problem!
If you choose to set new year's resolutions, may I challenge you to change your language? Instead of using the word "resolution" swap it with "goal" and here's why: Resolutions tend to be firm decisions to stop or start something you do not want to do. Goals on the other hand are specific, action oriented efforts which are often planned out for success.
Below are three reasons why resolutions fail and goals are achieved:
1. Lack of commitment/motivation: Maintaining a year-long commitment can be daunting. In fact, it can have adverse effects because it may not be your heart's desire to obtain this goal. This often leads to frustration or feeling like a failure. Instead of a year-long commitment, try 30 or 60 days. For example, if your goal is to pray every morning for an hour, start with 15 minutes for 30 days. When you succeed with thirty days, this in turn will give you motivation to extend the duration of your goal. Small, attainable goals will help lead to successful outcomes.
2. Unrealistic expectations: Setting unrealistic expectations can have negative effects as well. High expectations can lead to disappointment because the achievement was not met in the time you allowed for yourself. For example, if you want to lose 70 pounds in a year but do not have an accountably partner, a meal plan, or an exercise routine, you may give up on your resolution because the level of the expectation you gave yourself. Instead of opting for 70 pounds, start with 10 pounds. Guess what happens in 7 months? Ditch unrealistic expectations for yourself. To become successful, set realistic goals.
3. Lack of flexibility: Creating an inflexible or a "no budge" resolution can often lead to giving up on your resolution altogether. Rigid plans can lead to discouragement and demotivation. Instead, come up with a back up plan should time not allow. For example, if you plan to write every morning for 30 minutes but something unexpected happens, allow yourself grace to write in the evening and get back at it the next morning. Giving yourself wiggle room for the unpredictability of life, decreases the chances of you beating yourself up about missing a date/time.
Do I find it important to set new, attainable goals which are meaningful and achievable to you? Absolutely yes!
Setting new goals, creating new habits, and becoming a better version of yourself is something we should all incorporate into our daily lives. But if your New Year's resolutions are going to drain you, cripple your mental health, or add stress to your daily life, ditch it! If your goals are set up to be flexible, adaptable, and achievable, I will be your loudest cheerleader!
This year, instead of worrying about your 2023 resolutions, say: I choose not to give up on myself and faithfully work toward my goals.
Do you hear that? It's me, cheering you on!