Thirsty Buddha

Ditch The Resolutions

Sure, setting new goals for yourself is always a good idea, as is the general concept of working on a better version of your already awesome self. New Years resolutions, however, are not the best way to achieve either of these things! It may be the first week of January, and everyone around you may be discussing their lofty goals and resolutions, but you should opt out– change the way you see your personal development by skipping the tired New Year’s trope!

Every year around this time, “new year, new me” becomes an inescapable phrase. You won’t be able to check your Instagram feed or snoop on someone’s Facebook account without saying the same words repeated ad infinitum. Here are three reasons why the entire concept is flawed:

1. Abandonment Issues: New Year’s resolutions are more likely to be abandoned that resolutions made at any other time of the year. The reason? Most people make these resolutions not because they’ve taken the steps necessary to implement true changes in their lives, but because it is convenient and expected to make a promise to improve yourself every January. New Year’s resolutions tend to be general intentions, rather than measurable and specific plans that lead to a goal over time. Saying “I will lose weight” or “I will spend less” is admirable, but without a plan and the will to see it through after the excitement of the holiday season has passed will inevitably lead to failure. And it’s proven– studies show that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them and most of the other 92% of people abandon them before February.

2. Timing is Everything: Resolutions during this time of year became popular because it seemed natural to start a new year on a better note than the one ending. However, many well-intentioned people find that the new year is not a sufficient motivational tool to keep you from breaking the promises you make to yourself. What’s worse is that the entire concept of a New Year’s resolution implies that the only time to implement serious changes in your life is in January. This prevents people from getting back on the horse after having fallen off, since the resolution has already been broken and the new year has already been spoiled. Also, people are more likely to exaggerate their poor habits ahead of the new year because they are taking advantage of the clean slate ahead. They’ll spend extra, eat more junk food and be extra lazy because they’re counting on how effectively they’ll be able to do the exact opposite come January 1st!

3. Show Yourself Kindness: Making a resolution that every bad choice you’ve made in the previous year has been leading up to, as well as being one that is expected to last an entire year, is a recipe for failure. With such high stakes, you’re likely to feel especially down on yourself when you abandon it. This is another reason why New Year’s resolutions are ineffective: anything that causes you to foster negative feelings towards yourself is not a good idea. Rather than jumping aboard the resolution bandwagon, take the time to plan and implement changes a bit at a time. Going from one extreme to another between December 31st and January 1st is no way to treat yourself!

That just about settles it: don’t make a resolution– they’re temporary and negotiable. Make a commitment to yourself that can’t wait for the new year and won’t expire by the spring.

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Posted in: Fitness, Health & Wellness, How-To

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