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Why Resolutions Never Work

Every January 1st, many of us do the same thing we did LAST year: creating new year's resolutions. But why? Why do we keep doing this, setting ourselves up for failure by setting an unrealistic level for things we want to accomplish? 

It doesn't make sense to me... and we need to stop with the insanity.

Resolutions have an all-or-nothing connotation: if we don't reach our goal, we've FAILED. Utterly. And well, we screwed it up so there's no point in even continuing. This is the inherent problem. Creating a unrealistic narrative about whatever it is - losing weight, changing jobs, finding that special someone - serves no one. What follows will always be disappointment, self-loathing, guilt and in some cases, depression.

No one wants that. So how SHOULD these things be approached? Here's some simple points:

  1. Be realistic. If you say you want to lose 50 pounds, don't think it's going to happen in 3 months. That's not healthy! However, if you say that you want to do that in 6 or 12 months from now, then we have something! And if you're saying you want to find the person of your dreams in 6 months... admirable, but again, keep it real.

  2. Forgive yourself & get back on the wagon. You will have those moments where you're feeling lazy or unmotivated or just plain old weak. Those will happen - guaranteed. You broke down and had that piece of cake when you shouldn't have? Stay committed and get back to it. Went on a date with an awesome person but it didn't work out so well? Stay committed and get back to it. See a pattern here?

  3. Ask for support. Any goal is best done with extra support. Maybe you need someone to talk you down off the "ledge" and get you to see reason. Perhaps you need an accountability partner to help each other reach those goals. Shucks, a friend could set you up on a blind date or be your wingman/gal. Support comes in many forms.

Willpower alone isn't enough. We can be the strongest people on the planet, but we ALL have weaknesses. Our struggle through to the other side is what makes us better, more resilient individuals.

That said, go forth and create the life you want!

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