There’s nothing new about New Year’s resolutions. There’s also nothing new about New Year’s resolutions feeling real old, real fast. If you’re a resolutionist who’s ever let a New Year’s goal fall to the wayside, you may be quick to blame yourself for your “failures.” However, given that only 9.2 percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions, maybe the problem lies with resolutions themselves and not the people trying to make the changes. Instead, it may be time to flip resolutions on their head and look at them for what they really are: a spotlight on negativity.
The Wrongs of New Year’s Resolutions
While New Year’s resolutions seem to be all about positive changes for the coming year, the simple need for change implies you’ve been doing it all wrong previously. According to Statista, the resolutions listed below are among the most common for 2018. We’ve paired them up with their implied “wrongs” to see how quickly a positive can feel like a negative.
- Eat healthier: You’ve been eating wrong.
- Exercise more: You’ve been exercising wrong.
- Some more money: You’ve been spending wrong.
- Get a new job: Your career is wrong.
- Read more: You’ve been entertaining yourself wrong.
- Make new friends: Your social circle is wrong.
You already know perfection is impossible, still there’s no denying that everyone can benefit from healthy adjustments to their current lifestyle. But just because there’s room for improvement, doesn’t mean your previous efforts have all been for naught.
Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Right
The old saying “you are your own worst enemy” may never be truer than when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. On top of already feeling like you need to change because you’ve been getting it wrong, it only gets worse when you abandon the resolution (as the statistics show is bound to happen for the majority of people). Now you feel bad because you’ve already been doing it wrong, and you failed at trying to do it right. In no time flat, you’re on a shame spiral headed for more bad habits.
Put an end to the resolution insanity and change your focus to keep things positive. How? By focusing on all the things you do that are already good for you. This may seem counterintuitive at first; after all, if you’re good at something, it would seem as though that area of your life is pretty well set, right? Actually, right. That said, it’s easy to overlook the things you do well as just being average over time. You do them, but you don’t give yourself the pat on the back you deserve when doing them.
For example, you exercise two to three times a week, but to really be at your fittest you set a resolution to exercise five days a week. On the surface, your resolution seems positive, but a view through the “wrong” lens and your resolution shows you’re not doing enough. To make this resolution right (and to help it stick), try applauding yourself for exercising weekly and vowing to keep up that pattern in the new year. While it may seem as nothing will change, the boost in confidence you have for doing the right instead feeling as though you’ve been doing the wrong can lead to a more effective workout or even a love for working out. And both have lots healthy benefits that can spin off naturally–instead of feeling forced, uncomfortable, or as if a punishment, the way New Year’s resolutions so often do.
Celebrate the Good in You
Make a list of all the good things (big or small) that make you, you. When it comes time to set your New Year’s resolutions, focus on the positive by pulling from the list and keeping up the good work you’ve doing all along.
What New Year’s Resolutions have you set in the past and how did they turn out? Share the good and the bad in the comments!