I’m not sure if I believe in New Year’s Resolutions. The pressure around the idea makes me cringe and making false promises to myself is a negative way to start off the new year. People make it seem like you either have to go big with your goals for the next year or not even try. I first learned about these silly promises when I was a teen. Yes, a little late in the game. One day, the health and fitness section at Walmart was a mess and people were filling their carts with scales, dumbbells and talking to employees about purchasing the latest Fat Destroyer X12000 or something with some ridiculous sounding name. It seemed like everyone had a gym membership and morning joggers passed each other on the sidewalks. Fast forward to two weeks later. No joggers and only the already fit people were still going to the gym. So, why do we fail at keeping these resolutions? Here are some of the reasons why you’re still working on your resolutions for 2011:
Goals are unrealistic or hard to achieve
Sure, you might want to loose 100 pounds in the next year but if you’re not someone who’s already used to exercising, starting as a beginner and realizing how much work you have to put into it will create a cloud of self-doubt over your head. All of a sudden, you want to make things easier. “I’ll start off by eating only 3 slices of pizza instead of 4 and I’ll only eat two next week. Or maybe the week after that. After all, I’m new to this.” “I jogged for an hour. I’m sure I can eat that extra slice.”
If your goal is to loose weight, start by trying to shed 20 pounds by the summer. Depending on how committed you become to living a healthier lifestyle, you may even loose more weight than you wanted to in the first place. 20 pounds sounds less scary than 100.
Goals aren’t specific
I’ve heard people say “I want to learn something new.” We learn something new each day. Just saying you want to learn something sounds vague and I’m sure your brain processes it as it sounds–unclear and inexact. What exactly do you want to learn? How to cook? A new language?
Be realistic. Be specific. Make a plan.
Only 8% of people keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Become one of them by using the SMART goal method:
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016? Do you even have one?