Ever since I knew what a New Year’s resolution was, I have made them. Every year, after I have recovered from what is usually a champagne induced hangover, I would sit down and think about what my new year’s resolutions for that year were. What would I achieve this year? What was I SO SURE that this year I would nail, or do differently.
Year on year, it was the same things. Get skinny (haha, I LOL at this one now!), save more money, and usually something around creating more “me time”, or being a “better person”. Do you know what the common theme by the end of January was? I hadn’t followed through on a single resolution. By February I was most definitely NOT skinny, I had probably spent more money than I usually would, and I had not carved out any time for myself, or had become a “better” person.
Why do I think I failed every year? Because I set myself up to fail from the start! I was never invested enough in these “resolutions” for them ever to work. I never had a plan for them. I never knew what success actually looked like. And if these resolutions were supposedly SO important to me, why did I wait to the start of a new year to decide to commit to them? Why didn’t I just start the day I decided that they were important to me? I know why. Because I didn’t really know what each one meant. I hadn’t dug deep enough to know why these things were important to me and therefore I didn’t have the true energy and dedication to push on with them.
So, this year I’m calling bullshit on new year’s resolutions and I am politely telling them to go shove it! I also think you should too and here is why.
New Year’s resolutions give you an excuse to wait. Ever been that person that has said “I’ll start eating healthy from Monday”, or “I’ll start back with my exercise regime from Monday”. This is the exact same thing, except worse because you generally prolong the change for a greater period of time with new year’s resolutions. When you decide something is important enough to create a new habit for, or to make a change, commit to it then and there – don’t wait.
New Year’s resolutions make you place unnecessary pressure on yourself to develop huge, life changing resolutions that you then beat yourself up about when you can’t commit to them. We build and build and build up to these great, big, sweeping statements about how our lives will be so different this year because of these changes, yet if we just continued with our momentum and building on our habits all year round, we would find we achieve a far stronger result without all the pressure of the “New Year, New You” cycle.
New Year’s resolutions often aren’t SMART. Recall my ridiculous resolutions above. What does “get skinny” even mean? Firstly, it’s a stupid resolution because I know I don’t really want to do that, so I have stuffed myself from the start. When we develop goals, we need to make them SMART goals. If I wanted to lose weight – how much? By when? Is that realistic? Understand the specifics of your goal so you know when you have achieved it, or you will always feel like you’ve failed because you never considered upfront what success was.
You plan to fail when you fail to plan. It’s awesome that you have now come up with your goals, you’ve made them SMART and you know what success looks like. But, that still isn’t enough. How will you achieve the goal? What shifts will you make in your life, your schedule, your values etc to achieve the goal? Let’s go back to the “get skinny” resolution that failed year on year. Why? Because I never actually put a plan in place on what I was going to do differently. I never created space in my life or my calendar to exercise. I never made the conscious effort to meal prep, or book in exercise classes, get a gym buddy, etc. I just relied on this sweeping statement to pull me through without any real sacrifice or planning going into it. If one of your goals is create more time for yourself in the morning – great! Brilliant goal! But, how will you do it? What will you change? Who will make you get up earlier? And what will you now do with that time? What does a successful morning look like to you?
Instead of creating loose, surface level, ill-conceived, New Year’s resolutions that may see you fall into the 92% of people who do not follow through on them, try something different this year. Also, check out my previous blog post on “Are you a Bullshit artist?” CLICK HERE to see how to stick to them!
Consider the 3 P’s.
- Purpose – Understand what YOU want. What is YOUR purpose?
- Putting your goals on paper – Not just your goals for the year, your goals in life! This should be something you really think about and take the time to invest in. From there you reflect and review it regularly.
- Prioritise them – We often talk about procrastination when talk about our job, or the number of tasks we need to get done during the day. Yet, for some reason when it comes to putting our personal goals on paper and what we want to achieve out of our lives, we don’t allow ourselves the option to prioritise. We have already put ourselves last. If you want to achieve your goals, not just at the start of every year, but every day of your life, then you MUST prioritise them.
Check out these steps in more detail here – http://www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au/ignorethehaters/
I work with a number of women coaching them on how to work out what they value, what their goals are, how to set them, prioritise them and then get out of their own way!
If you are interested in having a personal trainer for your life and your personal or professional goals, then let’s chat – firstname.lastname@example.org
Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!