Surely you’ve seen headlines for articles that sound like this one does, how not to do something in order to do something or something of the kind if that makes sense. And no, I’m not going to tell you some amazing secret on how to keep your New Year’s Resolutions this year, I’d love to know that secret myself. What I want to do is do a bit of introspection…reflection? Where did I go wrong last year?
The fact of the matter is it takes time and dedication to truly fulfil a new year’s resolution, and it doesn’t stop there. We’ve all been there. We’ve made promises we couldn’t keep and then felt disappointed in ourselves, but were we disappointed enough? Did we even know what we really wanted to achieve for the coming year?
This post is an ode, a shout out for all those broken and unfulfilled resolutions, maybe by seeing where we went wrong we can see how can make it right for 2014?
There is no secret, I’ve seen people actually keep them, so can’t we?
Do we have to superhuman powers of patience? determination?
Or do we merely need to remind ourselves what we want and WHY we want it? Doesn’t so mere to me.
1. Be in a rush and stress yourself out
My #1 NYR was to write something every day. I know not everyone is the same and doesn’t think like me, but I’ve been seeing a pattern. Rushing to fulfil a goal and stressing yourself out is the best way to NOT keep your new year’s resolutions.
We’re always in a race in life even there’s so many sayings like “the journey is the most important” or “stop and smell the roses”, we’ve all heard it before but yet we still keep thinking of the end game but then what? What happens next? Another goal? Another horizon? Did we enjoy that journey everyone talks about? Or were we always in a rush and stressing out and making ourselves sick?
This has lead me to believe that for my own personal #1 NYR for this year be the same as last year but with a few edits. I will write everyday but I will do it at my pace. I will probably write more than I thought because I’m not pressuring myself to complete just one piece. I’ve been good at getting my priority writing done for my business and my clients but I haven’t been writing for me. So that’s the first thing I want to change and implement for 2014. I’ve got to be in the moment.
2. Suck the life, passion and joy out of your resolution
Just like last year’s resolutions, this year I have very similar goals. In hindsight, another reason why I didn’t fulfil my resolutions was because I didn’t enjoy what I was doing and like the previous point, I lost sight of why I wanted to accomplish them.
Take my #2 NYR last year, for example, which was to keep a healthy routine by swimming every day, eating on time, and having a regular sleep pattern.
It all went to crap after about the 6th day into the last “new year”. Ok, even that might be an exaggeration of how long I lasted, but that’s not important, what is important is that I didn’t keep it up. I started out hardcore. I swam too hard, too fast, too long at a time, I made myself hate swimming. I felt like I was limiting myself rather than getting healthier to open up my life and more opportunities.
Your NYR might not be the same as mine, but I’m sure you can relate. Making something a chore, something you hate doing is one of the best ways of how to NOT keep your New year’s resolutions.
3. Be totally UNrealistic
This year I am going to read 5,000 books (because I really have the time)…
Acquire 10,000 new clients for my writing business…
Participate in a marathon every week of the year
Lose 50 kilos (so that would mean I’d be 15kilos after that)…
AND get pregnant with triplets at the same time…
Ok so that’s being unrealistic to the max. I know not everyone’s NYR will be this far out. But there are some NYRs we make to pressure ourselves that are way to unrealistic that we couldn’t possibly achieve and we make this resolution on purpose because then it gives us the excuse to fail it. Setting smaller goals, having a plan, step by step is a much better way of defining your NYR says experts (namely friends who have fulfilled their NYRs in previous years).
In other words, if you want to know how to NOT keep your new year’s resolutions all you need to do is set really high expectations and be super unrealistic – best excuse ever for not fulfilling your NYRs!
4. Make a generic NYR that doesn’t mean much to you but everyone else has too…
I know most people have a NYR that sounds similar “I will eat healthier” or “I will lose weight” something along those lines, that this year will be different. You’re going to go on a diet; train everyday at the gym or something or other. Like my NYR to go swimming every day, it doesn’t stick. But why?
Even if you keep the passion for being health, changing it up, doing rotations at the gym so you don’t get bored, joining fitness classes. You get tired. You lose sight again.
This year NYR’s involving health are great, but get more detailed! Make it specific to you!
Numerous fitness and life coaches suggest that we connect other values that are even more important to us and that’s why we’ve failed in the past, because it wasn’t valuable enough for us to fight for it. Ok, so the doc says if you don’t change your fitness level you could get sick later on, developing heart disease or worse, but at the time we just think ok later, later. It’s not really “real” to us.
How about connecting your higher values to your NYR to clean up your health? Connecting it to family, your partner, spouse, children, being there for them, being able to keep up with them, thinking of the other “benefits” of getting healthy, not just focusing on the number on the scale.
If you really want to NOT keep your New year’s resolutions this year, choose one that is so generic, that you’ll do just because everyone else is doing. Because you totally want to be like a 12-year-old right? Everyone else is doing it and so should you. Make it as impersonal as you can. And we’ll see each other next year with the same NYRs as last year.