New Year's Resolutions

I’m Anti-New Year’s Resolutions!

Yes, I’m against New Year’s Resolutions. And yet, I still make them. Oops, there goes my credibility. But let me explain why.

There’s just something hopeful about the New Year. Maybe it’s the champagne! Or maybe it’s that work slows down during the holidays giving us a chance to think about what is really important. Or maybe just seeing 2016 on the screen makes us feel hopeful.  So why do we set ourselves up for failure?

The research is clear. There are numerous studies on our chances of success. And it doesn’t look pretty. Take for example, according to research at the University of Minnesota, 80% of people who make a resolution on Jan 1 fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day!

These are discouraging stats. It means not only a loss of accomplishing something we decide is valuable, but it’s also another chink in our self-confidence that we are people of our word. It’s disappointing and discouraging, AND it happens in the cold/dark winter!! Ugh!New Year's Resolutions

For example, the first Monday after new year’s, I made my daily TO DO list, which included brain and body work (part of my resolutions), and immediately emails came flooding in to disturb my reading a journal article (brain work), and potential exercise. I actually said outloud (Lucky no one heard me, except the dogs), “WHAT are all these people trying to do to derail me from my resolutions??”  Of course these people – clients and friends are not specifically trying to derail me, in fact, they are probably tackling things on their lists or their resolutions. But the thought came to me that it was hopeless. Starting the New Year “dejected” is not a good feeling.  So without going too long on this topic…(even though “blogging” is one of my goals for 2016!), I would like to make three recommendations about this time of year and resolving to grow and develop.

  1. Take 5 min. to write down your successes last year, personal and professional. What did you accomplish? What did you spend time on that you enjoyed? What were things that “filled you up?” Consider adding things to the list that challenged you and made you feel confident. This effort can give you a good feeling of success, and it can help propel you onto what you might want to spend more time on in the coming year. It’s nice to think that your new resolutions are something you’ve already been working on the last 12 months and you’re not starting from scratch.
  2. Take 5 min to write down some goals for the New Year. Sure include lofty goals like (e.g. “Get fit”) which can be inspiring, and yet be sure to include small segments of what you could do to achieve that (e.g. walk the dogs for 15 minutes, ride the stationery bike for 30, stretch for 10.) Look for bite size pieces that you can put on your To Do list and realistically tackle even if the emails come flooding in from others.
  3. Keep trying. Yesterday may have not been the ideal day that you envisioned, but tomorrow could be. As the Chinese proverb says, “Fall 7 times; get up 8.”

I’ve got a lot more tips on accomplishing goals, but I challenged myself to just take 15 minutes to write my first blog and I’m done!  (Come back for more blogs from me in 2016 and see if I keep my resolution!) Good luck!

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